What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Economics Needs Austen
Gary Saul Morson, the Lawrence B. Dumas Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Northwestern University, and Morton Schapiro, a professor of economics and the president of Northwestern University have put forward an interesting question: could reading Tolstoy and Austen improve economic forecasting?
In their book, Cents and Sensibility: What Economics Can Learn from the Humanities, they argue that, while taking literature seriously will not completely transform the field of economics it will provide a real boost to accuracy and general understanding of why seemingly unlikely events are more likely than first assumed (recessions being a prime example). They believe that learning from literature, philosophy and the other humanities, along with history, sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, religion and the like, may lead economists to develop more realistic models of human behavior, increase the accuracy of their predictions, and come up with policies that are more effective and more just.
They particularly recommend reading some of the classic literary greats:
There is no better source of ethical insight than the novels of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Henry James, and the other great realists. Their stories distill the complexity of ethical questions that are too important to be entrusted to an overarching theory – questions that call for good judgment.
We wonder what Jane would make of this!
An essay going into more depth on the importance of literature and the humanities in economics can be read here.
Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 93
What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Amazing Librarians Up For Award Libraries are wonderful, magical places, and one of the things that helps the to be such is their dedicated librarians. So, in order to honour the work of these fantastic people who work in school libraries and help children to become lovers of books from an early age, the School Librarian of the Year Award was set up. We have to say, this year’s honour list, from which an overall winner will be announced in a ceremony at Covent Gardens in London on October 3rd, has some truly amazing examples of librarians who go above and beyond in their jobs. Amy McKay, librarian at Corby Business Academy in Northamptonshire, has hosted barbecues, sleepovers, a comic-con event, a zombie-apocalypse and staff-pupil battles of the books to introduce pupils to different genres and authors. Lauren Thow of Portobello High School in Edinburgh has research lessons for pupils, in which she occasionally dresses as Sir Alan Sugar and has established a Portobello High literature festival. Sophie Chalmers library at Southbrook School in Devon is housed inside a double-decker bus (how wonderful is that?) and she has established a reading-buddy scheme, connecting her own special school with the local mainstream secondary. Alison Tarrant helped to establish her library at Cambourne Village College in Cambridgeshire, and this involved the donning of hard hats and high-visibility jackets as the build began. But the one that really caught our eye was Rachel Knight, who (more…)