Cognitive Futures in the Humanities (CfP, Conference, Bangor University, 4-6 April 2013)

International Conference 4-6th April 2013
School of Linguistics & English Language, Bangor University

We invite 20-minute paper submissions for a major international conference organized on the Cognitive Futures in the Humanities. The conference will take place on 4-6 April 2013, and will be hosted by Bangor University.

Confirmed plenary speakers include the following distinguished scholars:

  • Peter Stockwell (University of Nottingham)
  • Ellen Spolsky (Bar Ilan University )
  • Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis)
  • Lisa Zunshine (University of Kentucky)
  • Mark Turner (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Elena Semino (Lancaster University)

The conference is associated with an international research network on the ‘Cognitive Futures in the Humanities’, which is supported by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), awarded to Dr. Peter Garratt (Northumbria), and Prof. Vyv Evans (Bangor).

RATIONALE AND CONTEXT: This first major conference provides a forum in order to bring together researchers from different humanities disciplines, whose work relates to, informs, or is informed by aspects of the cognitive, brain and behavioural sciences. It aims to address, in various ways, the following questions: what is the ‘cognitive humanities’? In what ways is knowledge from the cognitive sciences changing approaches to language, literature, aesthetics, historiography and creative culture? How have practices in the arts and humanities influenced the cognitive sciences, and how might they do so in the future? This conference will facilitate the exchange of new, innovative research at the intersection of established disciplines, such as philosophy, linguistics, literary studies, art history and cultural studies.

The ‘cognitive revolution’ has begun to make an impact on how humanists think about language, identity, embodiment and culture, in fields such as cognitive poetics, narratology, phenomenology and literary theory. This conference will assess the state of the field now and ask what new directions lie open for cognitive humanities research. If the cognitive sciences ask fundamental questions about the very nature of the ‘human’ that underpins the humanities, what new forms of knowledge and research practice might be produced in an emerging area called the ‘cognitive humanities’? How can the field be mapped? What methodological opportunities exist, and what value do cognitive paradigms add to traditional modes of inquiry? How may interests particular to the humanities, such as fiction and the imagination, influence the development of research in the cognitive sciences? In addressing these questions, the conference will generate exciting new communication across disciplines and help define an emerging international research community.

As part of this initiative, two postgraduate fee-waiver bursaries are being advertised (see details below).

CONFERENCE STRUCTURES: In addition to six plenary talks, the conference will feature a series of special themed panel sessions with leading researchers serving as discussants, including Alan Richardson (Boston College), Michael Wheeler (Stirling University), Vyv Evans (Bangor University) and Patricia Waugh (Durham University). Proposals may indicate if they wish to be considered for inclusion in one of these sessions (see below).

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers on topics such as: Cognitive neuroscience and the arts; language, meaning and cognitive processing; embodiment, phenomenology and technologies; cognitive poetics and interpretation; reading, immersion and memory; Theory of Mind; cognition beyond the skin; applied conceptual blending; empirical aesthetics; modularity and creativity; cognition and race, gender and sexuality; cognitive approaches to theatre, film and performance; literature and affect; literary history and mental science; historicizing cognitive science.

SUBMISSION DETAILS: Please send 250-word abstracts via email by the closing date of 30 November 2012. Abstracts should be included as Word file attachments, and be anonymized. Please indicate clearly in your email whether your abstract is to be considered for a paper, or poster, along with the name of presenter(s), university affiliation(s) and email address(es). Proposers can expect to hear if their abstract has been accepted by January 2013, when registration will open.

If you wish your abstract to be considered for one of the special themed sessions, please also state which of the following sessions it might contribute to (further details on the conference website): Metaphor and Mind; Extended and Embodied Cognition; Cognitive Historicism; The Minds of Others;  or Cognitive Approaches to Art, Visual Culture and Performance.

If you are a postgraduate student who wishes to apply for one of the two fee-waiver bursaries, please also append a 100-word statement to your attached abstract explaining how your research relates to the conference theme of the ‘cognitive humanities’, and include contact details for your principal supervisor.

In addition, there will be a satellite event involving a special seminar delivered by Prof. Bernard Spolsky (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) relating to language policy and bilingualism: “What can endangered language activists learn from the “revival” of Hebrew?”

Full conference details are available from the conference website.

About Centre for Medical Humanities

Centre for Medical Humanities
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