Isabelle Daunais

Canada Research Chair in the Esthetics and Art of the Novel

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
McGill University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Studying how novelists have defined novels since their establishment as great literature in the 19th century.

Research relevance

This research will increase our understanding of the major role that novels play in how we explore and view the world.

A Novel Understanding of the Novel

Novels remain one of our best cultural artifacts. They allow us to explore our existence, imagination and Western thought in ways that would otherwise not be possible.

While literary theory has often attempted to define the novel, not much attention has been paid to how novelists themselves define their art as a tool of thought. Dr. Isabelle Daunais, Canada Research Chair in the Esthetics and Art of the Novel, aims to remedy this situation.

She is exploring how 20th century novelists defined the novel in comparison to other arts and justified its usefulness in relation to other forms of knowledge, such as history and humanity.

Daunais is aiming to better understand the place that novels occupy in how we explore our world. Her research will markedly improve our understanding of novels as a global art and as a valuable field of human knowledge.