The Interdisciplinary Mind: Modes of Evolution in Richard Powers’ Novels

Schlagworte: Richard Powers, Interdisciplinary Novel, Humanoids, CAVE Technology, cross-cultures, Artistic Evolution, American Studies, Genomic Engineering, Virtual Reality, Cognitive Science and Machine Learning, Contemporary American Literature

Über dieses Buch

This work focuses on four novels by the American author Richard Powers that explore the tangled relations between the scientific, technological, cognitive, and civilizational aspects of contemporary life. These novels—Galatea 2.2, Plowing the Dark, The Echo Maker, and Generosity: An Enhancement—reveal complex structural elements, highlighting interconnectedness between various interdisciplines.

This study reveals how interdisciplinarity is necessary for the evolution of writing, while it identifies modes of artificial evolution in Powers’ novels. Three prominent types of artificial evolution are addressed: human genome engineering, brain malleability, and artificial intelligence. The book tackles civilizational dynamics in the light of clashes of groups with the same identity, as well as terrorism and wars. It examines artistic evolution through “iconoclash,” interweaving virtual environment CAVE-, architecture-, and scripture-like structures. By exploring these aspects, the novels’ interdisciplinary structures become visible. This book shows that the interdisciplinary novel is liquescent and multiplanar. Its narrative structures are imprinted with superimposed cross-cultural and interdisciplinary strata. These establish not only interconnections but also evolutionary exponential trends.
The book includes a conversation with Richard Powers.

This book is also available in print.



Keine Nutzungsdaten vorhanden.


Ines Ghalleb

Ines Ghalleb completed her doctorate in American Studies at the Graduate School Language and Literature at the University of Munich. She was awarded a DAAD Graduate School Scholarship (2016–2020) and a DAAD completion grant (2020). Ines obtained her Master’s degree in English Cross-Cultural Poetics at the Higher Institute of Languages of Tunis in 2010 and served as Lecturer for English at Tunis Business School (2010–2015). She gained several awards that enabled her to harness a broad international experience: She participated at the Futures of American Studies Summer Institute at Dartmouth College (2018), supported by the Bavarian American Academy; she was a visiting student researcher at the University of California, Berkeley in 2014 on a CEMAT US Grant; she was a MENA Women’s Fellow of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) in Washington DC and Minneapolis in 2013; and she studied at Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2007–2008 as part of the Near East South Asia scholarship program. She is currently co-editing a volume on post-truth. Her research scope covers interdisciplinarity and cross-cultures in American Studies.


23. Dezember 2021


Copyright (c) 2021 Ines Ghalleb


Dieses Werk steht unter der Lizenz Creative Commons Namensnennung 4.0 International.