Modeled on the study of linguistic universals, the Literary Universals Project has two specific purposes. First, it should facilitate access to established work on literary universals, which has otherwise been scattered. Second, it should foster the advancement of further research on literary universals. These specific purposes should in turn contribute to our more general knowledge about literature and, ultimately, our understanding of the human mind and human society.


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University of Connecticut
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Storrs, CT 06269-4025

Recent Articles

  • HUMAN UNIVERSALS (1991): Reflections on its Whence and Whither
    By: Donald Brown, University of California at Santa Barbara Human universals have been a part of anthropological thought from the field’s academic beginning, yet to my knowledge no book devoted to the topic had been published for many decades before mine of 1991, Human Universals. I here recount how that book came about, along with […]
  • A Literary Universals Panel at the MLA Convention in 2018
    The Cognitive and Affect Studies Forum of the Modern Language Association will sponsor a panel on Literary Universals at the Association’s 2018 convention in New York City (4-7 January).   “Primal Androgyny: Typological and Statistical Universals,” Arnab Dutta Roy, University of Connecticut “Literary Prehistory: Oral Storytelling as Natural Pedagogy,” Michelle Scalise Sugiyama, University of Oregon […]
  • Chinese and Western Drama: Tragi-Comedy and Tragedy
    Zheng Ying, Zhejiang University, People’s Republic of China The structural difference between traditional Chinese and western drama has long been studied by generations of comparative literary scholars. However, with the universal structure of human narratives — tragi-comedy, as promoted by Patrick Colm Hogan in The Mind and Its Stories–the issue of similarities and dissimilarities could […]