MemberElizabeth Oldfather

I am L.M. McKneeley Assistant Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where I specialize in British and American literature of the long eighteenth century. I work on the psychology of reading and imagination, especially experiences of literary transport, presence, and flow, which I study both historically and through cognitive and neuroaesthetic approaches.

MemberMargaret Freeman

…Engaging in critical discussion: Some thoughts on literary interchanges. New Directions in Emily Dickinson Studies. July 2012:
2011. The aesthetics of human experience: Minding, metaphor, and icon in poetic expression.. Special issue on Exchange Values: Poetics and Cognitive Science, ed. Mark Bruhn. Poetics Today 32.4: 717-752.
2012. Blending and beyond: Form and feeling in poetic iconicity. In Isabel Jaén and Julien Simon, eds. Cognitive Literary Studies: Current Themes and New Directions, 127-143. Texas University Press. CSN 1399751
2011. The role of metaphor in poetic iconicity. In Monika Fludernik, ed. Beyond Cognitive Metaphor Theory: Perspectives on Literary Metaphor, 158–175. New York and London: Routledge. CSN 1399683
2011. Dwelling in possibility: An introduction to Dickinson’s poetics. In J. Brooks Bouson, ed. Critical Insights: Emily Dickinson, 73-96. Pasadena, CA, and Hackensack, NJ…

  Margaret H. Freeman is Professor Emerita, Los Angeles Valley College, and co-director of Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts ( She was a founding member and first president (1988-1992) of the Emily Dickinson International Society and moderates the monthly meetings of the Emily Dickinson Reading Circle at Myrifield in Heath, MA. She is a co-editor of the Oxford University Press series in Cognition and Poetics. Her research interests include cognitive poetics, aesthetics, linguistics, and literature. A list of her scholarly publications may be found at  

MemberCody Mejeur

Cody Mejeur is a PhD candidate in English at Michigan State University specializing in new media, narrative, queer studies, cognitive humanities, and digital humanities. Their work uses video games to theorize narrative as a living, emergent, and playful process that contributes to how we understand ourselves and our realities. They have published on methods for using games in pedagogy, gender and queerness in games, and the narrative construction of reality. They currently work with the LGBTQ Video Game Archive on preserving and visualizing LGBTQ representation in video games. They are a graduate lab lead in MSU’s Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab and adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech Community College.

MemberStacy Hartman

My dissertation, titled “The Ethics of Emotion: The Dialectic of Empathy and Estrangement in Postmodern German Literature and Film” (available via MLA CORE: examined anti-fascist rhetorical strategies in postwar German texts. I’m interested in cognitive approaches to literary study including how we experience texts emotionally and how biology might intersect with fields such as psychoanalysis to open up new questions or new approaches to old questions.

Other interests include the public humanities, humanities pedagogy, and the preparation of humanities PhDs for multiple career paths. My position as coordinator of the Connected Academics Project at the MLA specifically addresses this last issue. Before landing at the MLA, I considered fields such as advising and university development as possible career options.

MemberCecile Tresfels

Sixteenth-century French Literature, apprehension, experience, curiosity, imagination and memory. Helisenne de Crenne, Rabelais, Léry, Montaigne, Marguerite de Valois. My research and my teaching philosophy are driven by the concept of “peregrinity”, which includes the other, the foreign, the bizarre, the curious or even the monstrous. I’m interested in how people, writers, travelers, understand and grasp the diversity of the world.

MemberElizabeth Cruz Petersen

Elizabeth Cruz Petersen, Ph.D., holds a Fellow position at the Center for Body, Mind, and Culture at Florida Atlantic University, and an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature. Her research is at the crossroads of cognitive studies (specifically somaesthetics) and early modern Spanish theater and literature. Focusing on the relationship between body, mind, and environment in the context of early modern Spanish performance, her book Women’s Somatic Training in Early Modern Spanish Theater (Routledge, 2016) demonstrates how the early modern Spanish actress subscribed to various somatic practices in an effort to prepare for a role. She is currently working on two research projects: The lives of five women in early modern Spanish Theater who started and ran their own theater enterprises, directing and mentoring another generation of young women entrepreneurs; and the transformation of the witch throughout literary history.

MemberKate Costello

Kate Costello is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford, specializing in modern Chinese literature and culture. Her doctoral thesis examines bilingualism, language games and word play in modern and contemporary experimental literature. Her research focuses on the relationship between bilingualism and linguistic experimentation, investigating the ways that multiple language competencies are deployed within a literary text. Drawing on the work of a broad range of authors that do not fit neatly into Sinophone, Francophone, or Anglophone canons, her thesis resituates these authors within a framework of interlingual writing. Paying special attention to the creative manipulation of sound, script, and syntax, her dissertation examines the playful, devious and irreverent ways that bilingual competencies manifest themselves in experimental writing. Her research interests extend to film, theatre, and text-based visual arts practices. Kate has a strong interest in linguistics and critical theory, and is co-convener of the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Discussion Group. She has presented papers at major international conferences including the American Comparative Literature Association annual meeting, the Modern Language Association annual convention, the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, the Association for Chinese Literature and Comparative Literature biannual conference, and the Cognitive Futures in the Humanities annual conference. Kate is also a literary translator and she has translated short stories, poems and essays by Renshun Jin, Su Xian, and Wa Lan. Her translations have appeared in Washington Square ReviewChinese Arts and Letters, the LA Review of Books China Channel, Paper Republic and Quarterly Asia, as well as the 2018 Seoul International Writer’s Festival Anthology.  

MemberMihai Mindra

Professor of American Literature and American Civilization; Brandeis University, Mass. Fulbright fellow (2001- 2002), J.F. Keedy Institute for North American Studies grantee (2003). Author of numerous studies on American literature; e.g. The Phenomenology of the Novel, 2002; Strategists of Assimilation: Abraham Cahan, Mary Antin, Anzia Yezierska, 2003; “Narrative Constructs and Border Transgressions in Jewish-American Holocaust Fiction”, Studies in Jewish American Literature, 28 (2009): 46-54; “La Roumanie et les Juifs. Pessimisme ou lucidité?” Cité, 29/2007, Presses Universitaire de France, 2007; “Delving into the Kernel: Teaching Bernard Malamud in Post-Communist Romania.” Imaginaires 14 Presses Universitaire de France (2010): 73-92; “Inescapable Colonization: Norman Manea’s Eternal Exile”. Literature in Exile of East and Central Europe. Ed. Agnieszka Gutthy.  N.Y.: Peter Lang, 2009. His most recent publications are: “From Shtetl to the Hub: Mary Antin’s Networking Palimpsest,” Intercontinental Cross-Currents: Women’s (Net-)Works across Europe and the Americas (1776-1939), eds. Julia Nitz, Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, and Theresa Schon,  (2016, European Views of the United States – Universitätsverlag Winter); “Space and Place in Fictional Storyworlds,” Teaching Space, Place and Literature. Ed. Robert T. Tally Jr., London: Routledge, forthcoming – 2018.