Over the past 30 years we have seen a growing body of research devoted to the cognitive underpinnings of literature and the arts in general, especially with regard to the linguistics of literature. This first international conference on cognition and poetics (CaP-12) aims at bringing together scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, literature, culture, aesthetics, semiotics, linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, philosophy, history, and psychology in order to illuminate the possibilities (and limitations) of taking a fresh look at literature and other poetic artifacts (such as film, music, art, drama) from a cognitive perspective. On the one hand, we need to take stock of what has already been done in this field over the past 30 years or more, on the other hand, some ideas and methods will have to be critically evaluated in the light of new research, and there are also many new pathways to be discovered and developed. In particular, a cognitive approach to literature raises questions about the basic nature of aesthetic experience and whether there are specific constraints and features (differentia specifica, as Jakobson termed them) that characterize the individual art forms, their production, and their reception.
Eventually, we hope to arrive at a fruitful collaboration and symbiosis between the different disciplines.
Invited plenary speakers so far include:
Mark Bruhn (Regis University, Denver)
Wallace Chafe (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Barbara Dancygier (University of British Columbia, Vancouver)
Suzanne Nalbantian (Long Island University, New York)