Waking Dreaming

December 1, 2004 (Wednesday) / 5:00 pm

200 College Hall, 3450 Woodland Walk

Waking Dreaming

Gertrude Stein, Automatic Writing, and the Neurophysiology of Altered States of Consciousness

Steven Meyer

Associate Professor of English Literature
Washington University

As a student at the Harvard Psychological Laboratory, Gertrude Stein carried out experiments in automatic writing; as an expatriate in Paris, she devoted herself to literary experimentation. Leading expert on the science-literature interface, Steven Meyer explores connections between recent research into "exceptional mental states" and Stein's boundary-breaking writing.

Steven Meyer teaches modern poetry and modern intellectual history at Washington University in St. Louis. His study, Irresistable Dictation: Gertrude Stein and the Correlations of Writing and Science, was published in 2001 (Stanford University Press). His current projects include a study of modern poetry entitled "Rhythms of Thought: Twentieth-Century Poetry after the Fact" and a second volume on Stein, "Gertrude Stein among the Neuroscientists."