Laura Otis, Ph.D.

Trained as a neuroscientist and literary scholar, Laura Otis, Ph.D., studies the ways that literature and science intersect. In her research, she compares the ways that scientific and literary writers describe identity, memory, communication, and thought. Otis received her BS in Biochemistry from Yale University in 1983, her MA in Neuroscience from the University of California at San Francisco in 1988, and her PhD in Comparative Literature from Cornell University in 1991. Since 2004 she has been a Professor of English at Emory University, where she teaches interdisciplinary courses on literature, neuroscience, cognitive science, and medicine. Otis is the author of Organic Memory (1994), Membranes (1999), Networking (2001), and Müller’s Lab (2007), and the translator of neurobiologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s Vacation Stories (2001). She has also edited Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology (2002). Her most recent book, Rethinking Thought, compares the ways that creative people use words and images in their thinking. Besides her academic books, Otis has authored five yet-to-be-published novels, and she is earning an MFA in Fiction at Warren Wilson College. In 2000, she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship for creativity.