Barbara Herrnstein Smith
- Professor Emerita
- Campus Box 90015
critical theory; social studies of science; epistemology; philosophy of science; naturalistic studies of religion
Smith's research is largely theoretical and interdisciplinary. She was initially trained in biology, experimental psychology and philosophy at City College in New York and later studied English and American literature at Brandeis University, specializing in language theory, poetics and the literature of the English Renaissance. Before coming to Duke in 1987, she was University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, with co-appointments in the Annenberg School of Communications, the English Department and the graduate program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. Smith's past 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 humanities and the sciences.