Fellows

Wendy Griswold, “Place-Making: Regional Identity, Neuroaesthetics, and the Humanities”


Wendy Griswold
Wendy Griswold, Northwestern University

Over the past century, revolutions in technology and increased mobility have fostered connections across vast spaces and among different cultures. Still, Americans’ sense of regional identity remains strong.
Fellow Wendy Griswold, Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities and professor of sociology at Northwestern University, has studied how literary culture helps produce and maintain regional identity for much of her career. In this podcast, she discusses the third installment of her ongoing project exploring how art and literature are integral to American “place-making.” Building on her previous work, she argues that by drawing on the fields of neurobiology and neuroaesthetics—examining how our brains respond to different sensations and stimuli—we may be able to shed new light on the ways we experience places and form lasting emotional attachments to them.