Dr.  Jamie Carr

Dr. Jamie Carr

Associate Professor

Office Location:
Dunleavy Hall, Room 320


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 2004
M.A., Northeastern University, 1998
B.A., English, State University of New York at Potsdam College, 1993

Focus of Teaching

Dr. Carr's teaching interests include literary and critical theory, exploring issues of why, how and what we read. Her courses examine relationships between texts and images and representations of trauma, gender and sexuality, and race and nationality, among others. In the fall of 2015, she will be teaching The Modern Age through Contemporary Literature and Senior Seminar (topic TBD).  

Current research interests

Dr. Carr's most current research project is on "The Art and Science of Reading." The discipline of literary studies has recently gained powerful allies in the sciences and popular media. Scholars in the cognitive sciences, including neuroscience and cognitive psychology, have newly taken up literature’s defense, conducting empirical studies to prove that literature has value—particularly researching whether fiction reading produces empathy. Both the media reports, and the empirical studies themselves, however, fail to acknowledge a long history of literary criticism and theory that articulate similar claims. Implicit in this subtext, is the privileging of empirical over interpretive or theoretical ways of knowing. In this discourse, literary criticism is broadly criticized for its variability and ambiguity. Dr. Carr explores convergences between the claims of literary theory, particularly reader response theory, and findings in cognitive research regarding the reading process and its effects, particularly around the experience of empathy and immersive fiction reading. She points to present limits to scientific study for apprehending the full experience of immersion in a text.

Current Involvement

Dr. Carr currently serves on the University Planning Council and is the Director of the Liberal Arts major (http://www.niagara.edu/laba). She advises the literary and art journal the Aquila and volunteers at the Heart, Love and Soul Soup Kitchen of Niagara Falls.