Expertise in the evolution of culture and the biology of morality and consciousness; the English novel; reader-response ethical criticism; the modernist movement.
BA, Brooklyn College, Cum Laude
MA, Hunter College
M Phil, New York University
Ph.D, New York University
Becoming a professor is a long journey. While working nearly twenty years for corporate lawyers during the 1980s and 1990s, I simultaneously cultivated my academic career by teaching as an adjunct early in the morning and by attending graduate school at night. My primary interest was in the English novel and the creation and behavior of characters. After earning my Ph.D., I began to focus on the subjects of character, individual consciousness, and moral behavior, mostly from a philosophical perspective. In recent years, however, I’ve studied human evolution, the biology of morality, and nonhuman primate intelligence, communication, and emotions to illuminate these subjects. I’ve come to realize how our hominin past, as well as continuities with nonhuman primates with whom we share a common ancestor, can help us understand some of our current behaviors.
In terms of service, I have taught over thirty different courses, including some of my own design related to evolutionary studies, and have mentored a range of topics for senior projects. I also have a distinguished record of involvement in the college community. To date, I’ve worked on no fewer than thirteen standing or ad hoc committees, prominent ones including Academic Standards, Curriculum, Promotion and Tenure, Faculty Development, Faculty Evaluation and Enrichment, and the Faculty Coordinating Committee. I served on the Honors Council and have been an active member on several Middle States accrediting committees, in particular chairing the committee on Faculty. As a replacement, I’ve also served at the Academic Dean’s request on the Planning Council.
Though too numerous to list, I have initiated and organized many student-centered and other campus events related to small press authors and other artistic, creative, or scholarly people. I am honored to have re-established Sigma Tau Delta – Delta Omicron Chapter, the international English honors society, and currently serve as the faculty sponsor. In the recent past I’ve also sponsored the English Club and what was the student-run literary magazine Montage. A notable event close to my line of analysis is the ongoing Moral Sense Colloquia, which I began in 2012. In June of 2017 the keynote speaker at the Moral Sense Colloquium was the legendary biologist Robert Trivers. Also noteworthy, I co-organized with Dr. Daniel Meyer-Dinkgräfe (now emeritus, University of Lincoln, UK) a three-day Sixth International Conference on Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts which gathered over 70 scholars from 24 countries. Exploring the arts and humanities in light of evolution, I initiated The Evolutionary Studies Collaborative in 2012, which you can read about on the SFC website: http://www.sfc.edu/academics/institutescenters/evolution. As a service component to the Evolutionary Studies Collaborative I led a successful effort to raise scholarship money to send a deserving Indonesian student to college to study biology or forestry. Additionally, partnering with English Professor and Fulbright Scholar Dr. Virginia Franklin, I was instrumental in bringing South African Shakespearean actor (Royal Shakespeare Company) Vaneshran Arumugan to the college as our first Fulbright Scholar in Residence for the Spring 2013 semester. Vaneshran returned, with actor Emmanuel Castis, in September 2019 to participate and perform in the Moral Sense Colloquium IV.
I have participated in many academic conferences and have been privileged to present papers twice, and to be part of a three-day working group once, at the prestigious Modern Language Association annual convention. In addition to scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited collections, I have published creative writings, two of which were nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I’ve edited five, themed literary anthologies (on subjects like pain, immigration, war, being human, and faith) containing the poetry and prose of contemporary writers from all over the world.
I have written on the origins and evolution of narration and individual consciousness in Making Mind: Moral Sense and Consciousness (Rodopi 2014). I’ve also written on the biology of morality and aesthetics as moral cognition in Evolution and Human Culture (Brill 2016). To conclude my trilogy of books on the arts and humanities in light of evolution, I explore great ape intelligence, hominin evolution, Stone Age tools, Paleolithic culture and art forms, and neurobiology in Art and Adaptability: Consciousness and Cognitive Culture (Brill 2018). I am available to present on art and adaptation upon request. Venturing further into evolutionary studies is my book An Ape Ethic and the Question of Personhood (Lexington Books 2020 ) which makes the case that great apes are moral individuals because they engage in a land ethic as ecosystem engineers. I’ve also edited, co-edited, and contributed to Origins of English Literary Modernism (2009) and Origins of English Dramatic Modernism (2010). Earlier, literature-based monographs include Character and Consciousness (2005) and Ethos and Behavior (2008).
I am the founder and editor of the ASEBL Journal, whose objective is to publish online peer-reviewed papers on the convergence of ethics, arts, and evolution. ASEBL has consistently blended interdisciplinary approaches, as in the following instances: competitive altruism in Beowulf (v. 9, January 2013); cultural traditions from an anthropological perspective in Romeo and Juliet (v. 11.1, January 2015); art and evolution (v. 11.2, April 2015); the cultural evolution of attitudes about homosexuality (v. 12, February 2016); morality and biology (v. 13, January 2018); and great ape personhood (v. 14, January 2019). The final regular issue of ASEBL Journal (15) will be devoted to the subject of consciousness with a host of contributors. The ASEBL blog will continue. I edit the Bibliotekos literary website, which features profiles on, and some original writing from, authors all over the world. I’ve also established Literary Veganism: An Online Journal of writing by, for, and about vegans. Through my efforts with all of these editorial projects, I’ve shepherded hundreds of academic and literary writers to publication and have consistently involved student editorial interns in book projects, the Bibliotekos website, the ASEBL Journal, Literary Veganism, and aim to continue with that mission.
In addition to advising English majors, I am available to mentor Independent Study topics in evolutionary studies on a range of subjects (from reading Darwin, to primatologists’ field narratives, to cognitive culture) for any interested student. Stop by room 6005 during office hours so I can provide details and we can talk.
For more information about Gregory F. Tague, visit his website, http://sites.google.com/site/gftague/