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CFP – 2017 Cognitive Futures in the Arts and Humanities @ Stony Brook University

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    David Rodriguez

    Call for Proposals
    (due – 9 January 2017)

    The fifth annual conference of the Cognitive Futures in the Arts and Humanities, to be held at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, aims to bring together a wide array of papers from the cognitive sciences, philosophy, literary studies, linguistics, cultural studies, critical theory, film, performance studies, musicology and beyond.

    In accordance with the original purpose of the network, the aims of the conference are:

    • to evolve new knowledge and practices for the analysis of culture and cultural objects, through engagement with the cognitive sciences
    • to assess how concepts from the cognitive sciences can in turn be approached using the analytical tools of humanities inquiry (historical, theoretical, contextual)
    • to contest the nature/culture opposition whose legacy can be identified with the traditional and ongoing segregation of scientific and aesthetic knowledge.

    We continue to examine these issues through a variety of approaches from cognitive sciences, arts and humanities, and draw on methods ranging from quantitative research to critical theory. The theme of the 2017 conference is “Mind Fields of Language.” The goal is to recognize and value the diverse ways in which terms common to the field are used in different disciplines. A short and by no means comprehensive list includes empathy, embodiment, participation, affordances, reader/spectator, theory of mind, and consciousness, and we welcome proposals that address the past and present usages of these terms, and their value to future research. Although this is the theme of the conference and special attention will be given to proposals that focus on this theme, we want a broad range of papers from the breadth of research being done in this area. The topics studied include aesthetics, mindreading or mentalizing, embodiment, “bio” narratives and biocentrism, perception and memory, affect and emotion, performance, movement and kinesis, subjectivity/qualia and the narrated self, conceptual blending, multimodality, linguistic creativity and figurative language, bilingualism/multilingualism, translation and digital text processing.

    To examine these and other related phenomena, we invite proposals addressing e.g. the following questions:

    • What are the terms that are central to your research, and what is their particular significance or resonance in making your argument? To what extent are you using them literally or metaphorically?
    • What are the values and limits of using science in the arts and humanities, and what are the connections and values to the study of cultural and historical contexts?
    • What can the cognitive humanities do to further our understanding of creativity, interpretation and imagination?
    • What are the overlaps and differences in talking about readers, spectators and audiences?
    • What consequences does the digitalization of learning environments have on the transmission of knowledge?
    • What is the current state of the relationship between the different modes of studying language and texts in cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics and cognitive literary study
    • How does the enactive cognition paradigm engage contemporary narratology – e.g. the poetics of unnatural narratives?
    • What is the role of empirical projects within the arts and cognitive humanities?

    Submission Details
    We will be accepting submissions for both individual papers and pre-formed panels. For individual papers, please submit a 250-word abstract. For pre-formed panels, please send individual abstracts as well as a summary paragraph. Please submit all proposals to by 9 January 2017.

    All submissions should be Word file attachments, and include the title of the paper, four or five keywords featured in the paper, the name of the presenter, affiliation, and email address, as well as a short bio.


    For more information on submissions or any other aspect of the conference, please contact the organizers at

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