Were Mr. Darcy and Boo Radley Anti-Social Misfits—or Autistic?

How Fiction Can Reframe a Misunderstood Mental Condition

Is autism cool?

It is in literature, as novels featuring characters on the autism spectrum have become so frequent that they’ve spawned a new genre: “autism lit,” or “aut lit.”

Many of the works put a positive spin on autism. These autistic characters have abilities as well as disabilities; they exist not only as mirrors or catalysts to help others solve their problems, but as active agents with inner lives.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, first published in 2003, did more than any other book to give life to …

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Why ‘Frankenstein’ Is a Great Science Policy Guide for the Future

Mary Shelley's 200-Year-Old Fable Explores the Tension Between Scientific Creativity and Social Responsibility

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley’s epic tale about the perils of scientific creation, turns 200 this year. Its famous creation story involves laudanum, and sexual tension, and an …

Frankenstein Is a Story About Climate Change’s Horrors

How a Massive Volcanic Eruption Spun the World Into Chaos and Helped Inspire the Famous Novel

Two hundred years ago this June, during a dreadfully cold and wet summer, Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein. Since then Frankenstein has become iconic, spawning a legion of adaptations and …

“Frivolous” Humanities Helped Prisoners Survive in Communist Romania

Covertly Studying Language and Literature Connected Captives and Freed Their Minds

In a recent New York Times article on the movement to promote university majors promising higher employment and income, Anthony Carnevale, a professor at Georgetown University, sums up the utilitarian …

Mourning Prince, Ziggy Stardust … and Oedipus

Social Media Brings an Ancient Greek Twist to a Previously Private American Ritual

After Prince died my Facebook news feed filled with mourning. My friends shared the time he sang “Starfish and Coffee” with the Muppets, told stories of going to concerts at …