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Faculty: Barbara H. Smith  

Barbara H. Smith
Title: Braxton Craven Distinguished Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and English
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  • Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1965
  • M.A., Brandeis University, 1955
  • B.A., Brandeis University, 1954

Research Interests:  

Smith's research has been concerned with literary theory, poetry and poetics, ideas of value and judgment, and intellectual controversies over science and knowledge. Her current work focuses on developments in cognitive science and the philosophy of biology, intellectual issues involving science and religion, and the historical, intellectual and institutional relations between the sciences and the humanities.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)


  • Smith, BH. Practicing Relativism in the Anthropocene On Science, Belief, and the Humanities.  Open Humanities Press, October, 2018 (152 pages pp.). [available here]  [abs]
  • Smith, BH. Natural reflections: Human cognition at the nexus of science and religion.  The Terry Lectures Series Yale University Press, Winter, 2010 (1-206 pp.). [book.asp]  [abs]
  •  Scandalous Knowledge: Science, Truth and the Human.  Edinburgh UP/Duke UP, 2005/2006 . [books.php3]  [abs]
  • Smith, BH. Belief and Resistance: Dynamics of Contemporary Intellectual Controversy.  Harvard UP, 1997 .
  • Smith, BH. Contingencies of Value: Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory.  Harvard University Press, 1988 .  [abs]
  • Smith, BH. On the Margins of Discourse: The Relation of Literature to Language.  U of Chicago P, 1978 .
  • Smith, BH. Poetic Closure: A Study of How Poems End.  U of Chicago P, 1968 .
Articles in a Collection
  • Smith, BH. "Scientizing the humanities: Shifts, collisions, negotiations."  Duke University Press, September, 2016, 353-372. [doi]
  • Smith, BH. "Anthropotheology: Latour speaking religiously."  Johns Hopkins University Press, March, 2016, 331-351. [doi]
  • Smith, BH. "What Was "close Reading"?: A Century of Method in Literary Studies."  Duke University Press, January, 2016, 57-75. [doi]
  • Smith, BH. "THE CHIMERA OF RELATIVISM A Tragicomedy."  Duke University Press, Winter, 2011, 13-26. [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  • Smith, BH. "Cutting-edge equivocation: Conceptual moves and rhetorical strategies in contemporary anti-epistemology."  Duke University Press, January, 2002, 187-212. [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  • Smith, BH. "Animal Ralatives, Difficult Relations,"."  Duke University Press, Spring, 2004, 1-15. (Special issue, "Man and Beast," ed Elizabeth Weed and Ellen Rooney) [doi]
  • Smith, BH. "Unloading the self-refutation charge."  Duke University Press, January, 2019, 76-91. [doi]  [abs]
  • Schneider, N; BHS, . "“Religion, Science, and the Humanities: An Interview with Barbara Herrnstein Smith”."  June, 2010. [religion-science-and-]
  • Smith, BH. "“Science and Religion: Lives and Rocks”."  January, 2010. [science-and-]  [abs]
  • Smith, BH. "Sewing Up the Mind: The Claims of Evolutionary Psychology." Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology Ed. Rose, H; Rose, S. Jonathan Cape, 2000, 129-143.

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