Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Literature
Department of English
Room 503, FLS Building, South Campus, Sun Yat-sen University
Peter Swirski is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Literature at SYSU and Honorary Professor in American Studies at Jinan University. His work ranges from modern and contemporary American Literature and American Studies to interdisciplinary studies in literature and science. Listed in Canadian Who’s Who, he is the author of a hundred professional articles and fifteen books, including the award-winning From Lowbrow to Nobrow (2005), Ars Americana, Ars Politica (2010), American Utopia and Social Engineering (2011), and From Literature to Biterature(2013). Extolled from The Guardian to the Financial Times, his work has been translated into Russian, Spanish, Croatian, Serbian, and Polish. Professor Swirski has been featured on American, European, Russian, and Hong Kong TV, as well as on the BBC World Service in front of audiences of 200 million. He is also recognized as the world’s leading scholar on the legendary writer and philosopher, Stanislaw Lem.
• Modern and Contemporary American Literature and Culture
• American Popular Fiction, Popular Culture, and Film
• Historical, Political, and Social Perspectives on the United States
• Critical Theory and Methodology, Aesthetics, Poetics
• Stanislaw Lem, Literature and Science, Science Fiction, Evolist
1. SWIRSKI, Peter. (2017). The Utopian Imagination in Contemporary American Literature.
2. SWIRSKI, Peter. (2017). When Highbrow Meets Lowbrow: Popular Culture and the Rise of Nobrow, ed. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cynthia J. Miller: “A smart, sassy, and insightful look at the tension between highbrow and lowbrow culture, and our attempts to traverse the no-man's-land between the two. Popular culture studies has been waiting for this volume.”
Press Reader: “The Swirski essay is crucial. He is, after all, the driving force behind projects like this and his name on the cover helps sales a lot. He coined the label “nobrow”; his task is to summarize the overall argument and marshall his forces. I’m pleased to be able to report that he does not disappoint. You cannot be more organized, more direct, or more provocative than he is in his preamble. His erudition is formidable, his range remarkable, his tone relentlessly engaging.”
3. SWIRSKI, Peter. (2016). American Crime Fiction: A Cultural History of Nobrow Literature as Art. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
ISBN 3319301071 (hardcover).
Gary Hoppenstand: “Readable, insightful, and thought-provoking, with American Crime Fiction Peter Swirski has given us one of the very best critical studies of popular fiction and the culture of everyday life. Anyone interested in understanding crime fiction, popular fiction, or popular culture in general must read this book. It is a treasure!”
H. Bruce Franklin: “Those who have not yet discovered Peter Swirski—one of our most challenging, entertaining, insightful, learned, and gloriously outrageous cultural critics—should grab American Crime Fiction, his latest exploration of what he calls “nobrow” literature. Every page of this delightful excursion through landmark “beachbooks for intellectuals” makes us take new perspectives on many of our favorite unexamined assumptions about culture.”
Arthur Asa Berger: “With this book, Peter Swirski confirms his reputation as one of the most passionate, perceptive and entertaining analysts of popular/nobrow culture and its relation to American society.”
Aaron Schwabach: “American Crime Fiction goes a long way toward erasing the artificial distinctions with which we have ring-fenced creative content. If you enjoy a particular work, including Peter Swirski’s, then enjoy it without guilt, without insecurity, without worrying about what the Times or the Man Booker committee might think.”
Nelson DeMille: “excellent from start to finish.”
4. SWIRSKI, Peter. (2015). American Political Fictions: War on Errorism in Contemporary American Literature, Culture, and Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
ISBN 113751888X (hardcover). ISBN 134970461X (paperback).
H. Bruce Franklin: “By juxtaposing the fictions that come from our politicians with fictions that come from a wide range of popular and partisan artists, Peter Swirski proves that you cannot understand “America” without a deep understanding of its political fictions. Swirski’s combination of wicked wit and spectacular knowledge make this a dangerously fun book. And his familiarity with history, music, and metrics makes the chapter on rap alone worth the price of admission.”
Arthur Asa Berger: “This brilliant, passionate and thought-provoking book deals with the fantastic and unrealistic notions Americans had, and many still have, about themselves and their possibilities—as reflected in their political fictions and in other forms of popular culture. If you ever wondered about what happened to the ‘American Dream,’ Peter Swirski supplies the answer.”
Robert McChesney: “Peter Swirski has stepped up to the plate and smacked another ball over the centerfield fence. American Political Fictions: War on Errorism in Contemporary American Literature, Culture, and Politics is social and cultural criticism at its best. The book is original, insightful, unforgettable, and almost impossible to put down. I highly recommend it.”
John Howard: “With characteristic verve and inventiveness, the prolific Professor Swirski analyzes popular art and literature taking aim at politics-as-usual. From rap to The West Wing, Joseph Heller to the Left Behind franchise, Swirski’s deft critiques give fresh guidance for understanding and perhaps undoing the systemic inequities in our American dreams.”
Mark Shackleton: “Peter Swirski shows his skills as a literary scholar while also taking on politics, history, and cultural (American) studies. It is rare to find a book that can appeal to both the scholar and the general public, but this is what American Political Fictions achieves.”
Alistair Beaton: “written with vibrant clarity, combining learning with a stinging wit and a scalpel-sharp incisiveness.”
Journal of American Studies: “with a sense of history of Richard Hofstadter, the journalistic pacing of David Halberstam (including personal interviews), and the sardonic wit of Mark Twain, American Political Fictions is a book that all of the above might have written had they been literary scholars.”
Critical Inquiry: “Among the galaxy of books on American political culture, Peter Swirski’s latest monograph American Political Fictions stands out even in this crowded field… a fresh and provocative view of American populist art and elitist politics.
The Montreal Review: “must-read of the year… profound yet paradoxically lighthearted… Peter Swirski is a good story teller and in American Political Fictions he has a number of good stories to tell.”
Scandinavian Journal of American Studies: “Following Swirski’s Ars Americana, Ars Politica (2010) and American Utopia and Social Engineering (2011), which were reviewed and praised on both sides of the Atlantic and across the political spectrum from the arch-conservative Financial Times to the arch-liberal Howard Zinn, American Political Fictions cements his reputation as one of our most interesting critics and scholars of contemporary American literature and contemporary American elitist politics.”
Polish Journal of American Studies: “American Political Fictions is a good read... Swirski’s analysis is well-grounded in facts, based on sound research and rich in interpretations.”
2015 Book of Note (The Montreal Review).
5. SWIRSKI, Peter. (2015). Stanislaw Lem: Philosopher of the Future. Liverpool/Oxford: Liverpool University Press/Oxford University Press.
ISBN 1781381860 (hardcover).
Stanislaw Lem: “Peter Swirski, a brilliant literary critic and a superb translator, deserves wide recognition as a scholar in American and Polish literatures”.
Michael Kandel: “Peter Swirski’s book is impressive: it demonstrates a grasp of a very large body of knowledge… Swirski conveys Lem thoroughly yet in the most entertaining way. This marriage of the heavy and the light, the profound and the playful, is a great achievement and mirrors the Polish master.”
Jaakko Hintikka: “The work of every philosopher and scientist is a journey into the future in which we know more than we did yesterday. What unites them is the belief in the power of imagination which allows us sometimes to penetrate some of the deep mysteries of the world. Whether the reader will classify Peter Swirski’s book as literary or philosophical is less relevant than the possible futures, some genuinely unsettling, which, if he is right, are waiting for us just around the corner from today.”
Nicholas Ruddick: “An indispensable contribution to Lem studies. No critic is ever likely to do a better job of summarizing Lem’s entire oeuvre and meting out cognitive justice to this philosopher of the future than Swirski.”
Joseph Carroll: “Swirski knows more about Lem than any scholar alive.”
Philosophy in Review: “Swirski does an amazing job… must-read not only for the admirers of Lem but for all who see literature and philosophy as relevant for what they tell us about ourselves.”
6. SWIRSKI, Peter, and Waclaw M. Osadnik, eds. Lemography: Stanislaw Lem in the Eyes of the World.
Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2014.
ISBN 9781781381205 (hardcover).
7. SWIRSKI, Peter, ed. Stanislaw Lem—Selected Letters to Michael Kandel. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press,
ISBN 9781781380178 (hardcover).
Nicholas Ruddick: “Utterly absorbing… absolutely first-rate Lem and first-rate Swirski”.
Ken Krabbenhoft: “Lem emerges from Peter Swirski’s mastery of his subject in both the stunning
breadth of his genius and a humanity forged by the nightmare of modern Polish history. Swirski’s writing
is graceful, engaging, and unmarred by jargon or pretense”.
Bo Pettersson: “The world’s leading Lem critic Peter Swirski competes with Lem in erudition and style—
and the winner is the reader.”
SFRA: “Short, dense, valuable”.
8. SWIRSKI, Peter. From Literature to Biterature: Lem, Turing, Darwin, and Explorations in Computer Literature,
Philosophy of Mind, and Cultural Evolution. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.
ISBN 9780773542952 (hardcover).
Jaakko Hintikka: “Once I had a chess-playing computer that was reprogrammed to comment on my
moves. The greatest praise it could bestow on one of them was to inquire, ‘Are you also a computer?’ Is
this an omen of our literary future? Will computers one day win not only chess tournaments but Pulitzer
Prizes? Will biterature overcome literature? Peter Swirski thinks so, and he also thinks that Turing and
Darwin have told us how it can happen. If his book inspires and provokes you as much as it did me,
reading it is a move that even my chess computer would compliment.”
Douglas Hofstadter: “Very cogent!”
Sir David Attenborough: “a great intellectual adventure starring evolution and the computer”.
Sami Pihlstrom: “an exceptional and unique work, both regarding its contents and its style… its primary
objective is to make us rethink our understanding of literature but also our understanding of what kind of
beings we ourselves are”.
Waclaw Osadnik: “The best thing that appeared since Future Shock by Alvin Toffler.”
Tomasz Lem: “Professor Swirski’s work is an accessible introduction to the domain Artificial Intelligence
and its impact on the presumed emergence of computer-generated literature—a thought provoking
Michelle Scalise-Sugiyama: “reminds of Michael Crichton’s Prey”.
The Times Literary Supplement (TLS): “zigzags across the fields of artificial intelligence, computing
history, cognitive science, narrative theory, the evolution of men and machines, and post-Turing attempts
to figure out how to identify computer intelligence if (Swirski would say when) it arises… a modern
adventure story for the mind”.
Quill and Quire: “Brisk, playful, and paradoxical, Swirski presents the reader with a buffet of food for
Critical Margins: “Swirski covers some heavy concepts in this book… But Swirski executes on it well, and
brings his wit and charm to the page… along the way, you’ll learn something about the future of
computing and reading, as well.”
Literary Review of Canada (LRC): “Swirski at his thought-provoking best.”
Convergence: “a pensive journey into computhorship (authorship by computers) and sentient computers,
how exactly this may come to pass, and how we might recognize it when it does… thought-provoking… a
thoughtful journey of the mind.”
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism: “There are too many things to recommend in this book…
Swirski formulates his theses with analytical precision after carefully reflecting on pro and contra
arguments. His masterful narrative technique challenges us to re-examine what we take for granted in life,
literature and philosophy. The book is bound to inspire debates over the nature of art and intelligence in
days to come.”
The Montreal Review: “brilliant, cogent, erudite, and articulate… fascinating, unsettling, and profound…
I can hardly think of anyone else who could so effortlessly and colorfully integrate philosophy of mind,
robotics, literary studies, cultural trends, futurology, evolution and many other areas of intellectual
analysis: names like Steven Pinker, Mat Ridley, or Douglas Hofstadter spring to mind.”
The Globe and Mail: “Peter Swirski’s protracted thought experiment on the possibility of fiction written
Leonardo (Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology): “Peter
Swirski devoted his career to analysing how scientific advancements affect literature, art and popular
culture… This last book confirms his skill in handling transdisciplinary studies, blending in the proposed
route from literature to biterature issues of science, mind philosophy and society.”
Ampersand Canada Book Agency: “Bizarre and challenging. All about the prospects for intelligent
computers and their literary output”.
UTNE Reader: “based on the premise that, in the foreseeable future, computers will become capable of
creating works of fiction. Author Peter Swirski considers hundreds of questions, among them: Under which
conditions would machines become capable of computer written fiction? Can machines have artificial
creativity, or is it merely an extension of technological capabilities still undiscovered?... Swirski
introduces some of the thought-provoking questions and theories surrounding this potential technology.”
ASEBL Journal (Association for the Study of Ethical Behavior/Evolutionary Biology in Literature):
In a nutshell, Swirski’s book is fascinating. Erudite and sophisticated, elegantly written and witty.”2013
Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada Book Award; MQUP Featured Book.
9. SWIRSKI, Peter. American Utopia and Social Engineering in Literature, Social Thought, and Political History
(Routledge Transnational Perspectives on American Literature). New York, London: Routledge, 2011.
ISBN 0415891922 (hardcover). ISBN 0415816874 (paperback).
Christopher Hitchens: “political and textual assonance of merit”.
Arthur Asa Berger: “superb example of interdisciplinary research… using material, as it does, from the
biological sciences, neurosciences, the social sciences, literary theory, the humanities, philosophical
Jaakko Hintikka: “Using imaginative examples from American literature as the testing ground, Peter
Swirski examines the collective hopes that found expression in sundry American utopias. What
could—what would—happen is they were realized? Stay tuned to this book!”
David Rampton: “Professor Swirski is something of a phenomenon… A great teacher in the university
classroom, Professor Swirski uses his pedagogical skills to take the reader via his book through a
series of complex subjects on which he is obviously an expert… remarkably original contribution to
American studies, there really is no other book out there remotely like it.”
David Livingstone Smith: “This is a stunning book… examines the hopes, horrors and illusions of utopian
social engineering through the lens of twentieth-century American fiction. Superbly crafted, accessible to
the non-specialist, and intellectually exhilarating.”
Philip R. Yanella: “brilliant, usually provocative, and nearly always interesting… Swirski is clearly a first-rate
interdisciplinary scholar who is doing important work.”
Journal of American Studies: “excellent… enlightening and thought provoking… Swirski has been long
recognized as an important literary scholar and theorist… sure to bear fruit for scholars of politics and
European Journal of American Studies: “utterly absorbing, not to say epic in design and execution”.
Review of International American Studies: “innovative and unique mixture of political science, literary
scholarship, and evolutionary studies… exceptional and crucial addition to our understanding of not only
utopias and utopian fiction, but also social engineering”.
American Studies Today: “Swirski is clearly at home in the world in literature as well as in American
political and social history. But what astounds is his grasp of the scientific and technological nuance of
the various methods and theories of social and behavioral engineering discussed in the five chapters. The
amount of research that must have gone into American Utopia and Social Engineering staggers the mind.
Yet, much as in his previous studies, notably Ars Americana, Ars Politica: Partisan Expression in
Contemporary American Literature and Culture, the author transforms this serious and studious book into
Philosophy in Review: “What makes American Utopia a special book is the quantity and quality of ideas
raised and the zest of the writing… finely argued and intellectually appealing”.
American Literature: “turns a neo-Darwinian critical eye on twentieth-century American utopian fiction
and on eutopian societies… Swirski argues that utopian literature is a “thought experiment” applied to
social engineering, and the results can contribute to the work of the social sciences. Combining a
historicist approach with evolutionary theory, this text diagnoses American (e)utopias and offers
suggestions for political reform.”
Journal of American Culture: “admirably original… lively style of writing makes for not only an
enlightening, but also an entertaining read… American Utopia is an exhilarating and indispensable work for
scholars interested in utopian thought, whether working in the field of literature, American studies, or
The Montreal Review: “Swirski is the author of several important and provocative studies, including
the From Lowbrow to Nobrow and Ars Americana, Ars Politica, and his most recent offering continues the
tradition of incisive, stylishly written, scientifically-informed critique... a vigorously argued and
beautifully written testament to just how far in this direction historically savvy, scientifically
informed literary analysis can take us.”
Synthesis Philosophica: “American Utopia and Social Engineering surpasses anything that
‘interdisciplinarity’ may have signified before… As it is usually the case with Swirski, the literary quotient
is only outdone by the challenging and thought provoking theses he puts forward.”
10. SWIRSKI, Peter. Ars Americana, Ars Politica: Partisan Expression in Contemporary
American Literature and Culture. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010.
ISBN: 0773537651 (hardcover), ISBN: 0773537668 (paperback).
Financial Times: “provocative and energetic book that reaches out beyond academia in an attempt to
define the nature of American political literature”.
Howard Zinn: “Ars Americana is both fascinating and original”.
H. Bruce Franklin: “plunges us into a kind of political art that anyone who wants to comprehend
American popular culture cannot afford to ignore”.
Brian Boyd: “From the author of the acclaimed bestseller From Lowbrow to Nobrow comes Ars
Americana, Ars Politica, a manifesto for political, cultural and literary studies, a head-cleanser
and a sheer romp”.
Arthur Asa Berger: “soundly researched, passionate, and beautifully written work—a Jeremiad about
other Jeremiads, and a powerful critique of American society and politics as reflected in American media
and popular culture.”
Robert W. McChesney: “illuminating and highly entertaining look at the intersection of art, popular
culture and politics. I learned a great deal about subjects where I thought I was a know-it-all. I
strongly recommend this book”.
David Rampton: “If Fox News reviews Ars Americana, Ars Politica, sparks will fly. A book devoted to
American literature, it itemizes the flaws in the way America is governed and deplores them. Raising
fascinating issues, Peter Swirski has a prose style that will create a stir and encourage readers to
take literature and the arts that much more seriously”.
Journal of American Culture: “impressive and highly readable… a joy to read… engaging,
provocative, and daresay entertaining”.
American Studies Resource Center (ASRC): “an alpha and omega on modern American literature and
American Studies in Scandinavia: “Ars Americana has already received a great deal of positive critical
attention… a valuable book for U.S. cultural studies for a number of reasons… it takes popular culture
seriously; it seeks intersections between politics, history and the arts; and it sugars the pill of cultural
and political analysis without losing substance”.
American Literature: In spite of—or perhaps because of—their popular reception, ‘politically
combative’modern American political works have not yet made it into the literary canon… Neither
highbrow nor lowbrow, but, as Swirski calls it, ‘nobrow,’ these texts highlight the imbrication of
ideological partisanship and the political mainstream. This book will be particularly helpful for those
interested in the construction of mass culture.”
Review of International American Studies: “excellent… refreshing innovative... enormous success.”
Journal of American Studies: “celebrates the intersection of art, popular culture, and partisan
expression in an entertaining and provocative volume”.
Chronicle of Higher Education: “Considers literary and cinematic responses to intense political
partisanship; works discussed include Richard Condon's Death of a Politician and Michael Moore's Stupid
American Studies Today: “must-read book on American culture and politics… impeccably researched
and documented.”2010 Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada Book Award; nominated
for the National Book Award; MQUP Featured Book. Shortlisted for the American Studies Association’s
John Hope Franklin Prize.
11. SWIRSKI, Peter. Literature, Analytically Speaking: Explorations in the Theory of Interpretation, Analytic
Aesthetics, and Evolution (Cognitive Approaches to Literature and Culture). Austin: University of Texas
ISBN: 0292721781 (hardcover). ISBN: 9780292728875 (paperback).
Philosophy in Review: “Swirski’s analytical brilliance and his breathtaking expertise in literature and l
iterary studies are obvious at every step of the way… beautifully written and beautifully argued book.”
SubStance: “exceptionally cogent… enlightening… admirable”.
Choice: “bracing, energetic challenge to the status quo. Summing up: Recommended”.
Press Review: “revered literary theorist Peter Swirski puts new life into literary theory”.
Canadian Review of Comparative Literature: “the best study in the aesthetics of a literary work since
Roman Ingarden… Swirski’s virtuoso investigations of literature from the standpoint of analytic aesthetics
and the theory of evolution open new avenues in humanistic studies in general, and in literary studies in
Croatian Journal of Philosophy: “Swirski is brilliant… his knowledge of and familiarity with literary
practice is truly amazing… I would strongly recommend Swirski’s book to everybody interested in
literature, art, aesthetics and literary interpretations”.
The Evolutionary Review: “fundamental affirmation of human purpose, design and agency… written
with an accessible freshness and curiosity... timely invitation for literary scholars to view how far their
field has come.”
Philosophy and Literature: “fascinating ‘explorations’ (as the subtitles announce) in topics both
within and surrounding the study of literature, manifesting the author’s vast knowledge of a number of
International Journal of Philosophical Studies: “insightful and of great import. For aficionados, it
provides a multitude of fresh arguments and plenty of food for thought. It is both a skilful, scholarly work
with an excellent historical survey into the humanities, and a frisky approach that does not fear popular
culture and mass art.”
Philosophy and Literature (2): “astute... lucid and undeniably valuable… fascinating… while Swirski is
well informed by philosophical theories of meaning and art, he never loses sight of his principal subject,
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism: “a good deal of common sense supported by good critical
12. SWIRSKI, Peter, ed. I Sing the Body Politic: History as Prophecy in Contemporary American Literature.
Montreal, London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.
ISBN: 0773536035 (hardcover), ISBN: 0773536337 (paperback).
Howard Zinn: “moving and ultimately devastating portrayal of the Greek, Dutch, and American imperial
Arthur Asa Berger: “Beautifully written, and based on an impressive amount of research, it casts a
devastating light on the Bush administration and the political order in recent years”.
John Howard: “Sure to be consulted for many years by any number of scholars and students in
departments of American Studies, English, Film Studies, and beyond”.
American Literary Scholarship: “appealing portrait of latter-day Heller is drawn by Peter Swirski in
“The Historature of the American Empire: Joseph Heller’s Picture This”, an essay appearing in the
collection Swirski edited”.
Journal of American Studies: “highly charged and highly readable”.
English Studies in Canada: “this collection should spur other critics to explore in greater depth and
more care the underappreciated historical consciousness of U.S. cultural productions”.
ANQ: “Political polemic—boldly argued and compelling.”
Review of International American Studies: “full of political insight that Swirski admirably lays out in his
Philip Roth Studies: “Swirski’s “The Historature of the American Empire: Joseph Heller’s Picture
This” uses the Greek and Dutch empires as a critical lens to view the American empire... Swirski faithfully
continues to explore the ideas of American imperialism and the American dream... If readers are looking
for political conversations about changes within American society, then I Sing the Body Politic will become
a very useful source.”
13. SWIRSKI, Peter, ed. All Roads Lead to the American City. Hong Kong, London: Hong Kong University
Press/Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007.
ISBN: 9622098622 (hardcover), ISBN: 9622098630 (paperback).
Christine Bold: “tons of valuable information and much lively writing. Its strengths are its accessibility, its
juxtaposition of materials, and its historical sweep”.
David Grant: “taps the insights of many fields in order to show how intimately bound up the reality and
the image of the road and the city are with the American sense of the nation.”
Journal of American Studies: “boldly conceived… the freshness of approach would likely appeal to
readers interested in an overview of overarching themes in the growth of American national identity”.
American Literature: the essays juxtapose the city and the road to consider cities as historical,
geographical, social and cultural centers of life in the land… The editor argues that with globalization,
such critical attention to the American city and its networks is becoming increasingly important”.
Journal of American Culture: “another magnificent offering from Peter Swirski.”
Journal of Popular Culture: “indispensable discussion of the historical and contemporary American
Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language: “has the potential to become an influential textbook
in American Studies”.
14. SWIRSKI, Peter. Of Literature and Knowledge: Explorations in Narrative Thought Experiments, Evolution,
and Game Theory. New York, London: Routledge, 2007.
ISBN: 0415420598 (hardcover), ISBN: 0415420601 (paperback).
Edward O. Wilson: “An important advance in this new and important subject… literature is about to
become even more interesting”.
John Adams, British Society for Literature and Science: “A complex and usefully provocative contribution
to the field. Laudably ambitious and readable”.
Brigitte Braschler: “The breadth of examples used is in itself a good reason to read this book as most
people—be they students of literature or of the natural sciences—will find much that was unknown to
them and even more that is presented in a new and surprising context.”
Joseph Carroll: “successfully crosses the divide between difficult academic theory and the colloquial
idiom of popular speech, and brings into play a range of literary and theoretical reference that is in
itself a chief source of pleasure for readers”.
Philosophy and Literature: “I warmly recommend this lively written volume by a leading literary scholar
to anyone seriously interested in philosophical issues of literature”.
SubStance: “engaging, challenging… a pleasure to read… an important and stimulating contribution”.
Philosophy and Literature (2): “merges a conversational, humorous tone with a disciplined academic
attitude that not only enlightens but entertains… fascinating, essential contribution towards a more
interdisciplinary understanding of literature, commendable for literary scholars, aestheticians, and
15. SWIRSKI, Peter, ed. The Art and Science of Stanislaw Lem. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen’s University
ISBN: 0773530460 (hardcover), 0773530479 (paperback).
Ian Lancashire: “Creative application of scientific, philosophical, and religious thought to the imagining
of new worlds”.
Earle Waugh: “Very fine indeed”.
16. SWIRSKI, Peter. From Lowbrow to Nobrow. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005.
ISBN: 0773529926 (hardcover), ISBN: 0773530193 (paperback).
Ray B. Browne: “This superb book will make all previous studies in popular culture moot… must be
owned by all libraries and cultural studies scholars”.
The Guardian: “bracing reproof to those who moan about the death of reading or the brain-rotting
effects of reading only popular fiction.”
Columbia Journal of American Studies: “Fascinatingly original… enthralling and provocative”.
Journal of American Studies: “Peter Swirski's excellent From Lowbrow to Nobrow argues for ending of
the highbrow vs. lowbrow debate and for a nobrow aesthetic”.
Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language: “superb… essential reading and the best study to
Popular Culture Review: “spectacular critical achievement”.
International Fiction Review: “Original and thought provoking at every step”.
Journal of Popular Culture: “Top five in popular culture studies”.
Montreal Review of Books: “Swirski writes intelligently, quotes copiously, and approaches his themes
Popular Culture Review (2): “eye-opening must-read about popular literature as art… the best study to
date of the rise of that novel literary-cultural formation ‘nobrow’”.
Review of International American Studies: “Swirski begins with a series of groundbreaking questions
about the nature of popular fiction, vindicating it as an art form that expresses and reflects the aesthetic
and social values of its readers. He follows his insightful introduction to the socio-aesthetics of genre
literature with a synthesis of the century-long debate on the merits of popular fiction and a study of
International Journal of the Arts in Society: “extremely relevant to the aesthetic and historical events
of the first decade of this century”. 2005 Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada Book
Award; MQUP Featured Book.
17. SWIRSKI, Peter. Between Literature and Science: Poe, Lem, and Explorations in Aesthetics, Cognitive
Science, and Literary Knowledge. Montreal, London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2000.
ISBN: 0773520431 (hardcover), ISBN: 0773520783 (paperback).
Paisley Livingston: “Rarely have I been so enthusiastic about a book”.
Jed Rasula: “engaged me with its studiousness, coherence, and inventiveness”.
Jerrold Levinson: “gives new hope for the future of literary studies”.
Canadian Slavonic Papers: “breathtaking erudition and intellectual courage.”
Science-Fiction Studies: “remarkable breadth of scholarship and rigor… Swirski demonstrates through
his own exhaustive scholarship what it means to do interdisciplinary literary investigation”.
The Journal of the Midwestern Modern Language Association: “an intriguing ‘solution’ to the
problems posed by interdisciplinarity”.
Choice: “shows how Poe in the nineteenth century and Lem in the twentieth were both futurists who
proposed hypotheses in aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy of science, cosmology, and artificial
intelligence—an aspect of their work that has been neglected.”
Canadian Literature: “intergalactic voyage for traditional literary studies, periodically landing in
philosophy of science, game theory, pragmatics, futurology, bitic literature, cosmology, template
programming and computer cognition”.
Critique Paris: “campaigns for recognizing literature as a cognitive discipline in its own right by
formulating and carrying out a serious program of study involving aesthetics, epistemology, philosophy
of science, pragmatics, cosmology, and artificial intelligence. The idea of considering fictions as
literary thought experiments deserves especial attention”. 1999 Humanities and Social Sciences
Federation of Canada Book Award.
18. SWIRSKI, Peter. A Stanislaw Lem Reader (Rethinking Theory). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press,
ISBN: 0810114944 (hardcover), ISBN: 0810114951 (paperback).
Kirkus Reviews: “Densely written, with something to think about in almost every paragraph, this is
probably the best quick introduction to the main currents of the large body of work Lem has produced”.
Booklist: “slim but fascinating… essential reading”.
Publishers Weekly: “often fascinating, even when presented in a somewhat Olympian manner”.
American Bookseller: “fascinating and insightful”.
San Diego Union Tribune: “expert meshing of literature, technology and contemporary culture”.
Science-Fiction Studies: “Excellent”.
Utopian Studies: “presents the opportunity to discover aspects of Lem not otherwise accessible”.