Ralph James Savarese, Ph.D., launched the 2012-13 "Neurodiversity and the Humanities" Series with a presentation titled "What Some Autistics Can Teach Us About Poetry: A Neurocosmopolitan Approach." Professor Savarese is a Humanities Writ Large Visiting Faculty Fellow.
Why is an English professor working with brain scientists? To change our understanding of the interaction between autism and poetry.
Autism spectrum disorder is often characterized by an inability to comprehend figurative language, especially metaphors. But poet Ralph Savarese, an associate professor of English at Grinnell College currently doing a residency with the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences as a Mellon Humanities Writ Large Fellow, has found the exact opposite to be true in his interactions with people who have autism.
You can read more about his talk on the Duke Research Blog.
For more information about the DIBS/FHI Neurohumanities Research Group, click here.