Jason Tougaw

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Klapper Hall, Room 633  
Personal website  

Research Interests

Memoir and autobiography; creative nonfiction; the contemporary novel; the mind and brain; consciousness studies; literature and science.

Professor Tougaw’s memoir The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism (Dzanc) is the winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize. His book The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in The Age of Neuroscience (Yale University Press) was named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2018 by Choice magazine. He is also the author of Strange Cases: The Medical Case History and the British Novel (Routledge). He is also editor, with Nancy K. Miller, of Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community (University of Illinois Press). His essays have appeared in OUT magazine, DV8, Largehearted Boy, Literary Hub, and Electric Literature. He writes a monthly column for Psychology Today.


English 170W: Introduction to Literary Study
English 303W: Creative Nonfiction
English 391W: Brain Narratives
English 391: Voices of Neurodiversity
English 399W: Dreams
English 399W: Reading Minds, Touching Brains
English 781: Consciousness and Literary Experiment
English 781: Experiments in Memoir
English 793: Teaching College Writing

Selected Publications

The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism (winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize)

The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in The Age of Neuroscience (forthcoming, Yale UP)

Fields of Reading, Motives for Writing 9th edition, co-edited with Comley et al. (Bedford/St. Martin’s 2009).

Strange Cases: The Medical Case History and the British Novel (Routledge 2006).

Extremities: Trauma, Testimony, and Community, co-edited with Nancy K. Miller; introduction co-written with Miller (University of Illinois Press 2002).

Selected Articles and Essays

“Christopher Isherwood Taught Me to Live Unapologetically.” Literary Hub (May 15, 2018). https://lithub.com/christopher-isherwood-taught-me-to-live-unapologetically/

“An English Beat. ”Out Magazine (November 2017). https://www.out.com/art-books/2017/11/10/english-beat

“12 Great Books about the Human Brain.” Electric Literature (October 9, 2017). https://electricliterature.com/12-great-books-about-the-human-brain-842011da9157

“My First Time: On Sex and Writing.” The Quivering Pen (September 18, 2017). http://davidabramsbooks.blogspot.com/2017/09/my-first-time-jason-tougaw.html

“Book Notes.” Largehearted Boy (September 13, 2017). http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2017/09/book_notes_jaso_11.html

Where Is Consciousness in the Modern Novel?The Scofield. 2.2: (Spring 2017: 172 – 179).

“The Self is a Moving Target: The Neuroscience of Siri Hustvedt’s Artists.” Zones of Focused Ambiguity in Siri Hustvedt’s Works: Interdisciplinary Essays, eds. De Gruyter, 2016.

“Touching Brains.” Modern Fiction Studies, special issue entitled Neuroscience and Modern Fiction, ed. Stephen Burn. 61.2 (Summer 2015): 335 – 358.

What We Gained in the Fire.Electra Street: A Journal of the Arts & Humanities. 2 (2015): 63 – 7.

“Brain Memoirs, Neuroscience, and the Self.” Literature and Medicine 30.1: (Spring 2012) 171 – 192.

Aplysia californica.” In From Boys to Men: Gay Men Write about Growing Up, eds. Ted Gideonse and Robert Williams. (Carroll & Graf, September 2006).