Literary Responses to Mind Science, MLA 2014, Abstracts Due 3/15
"In any period," M.H. Abrams writes, "the theory of mind and the theory of art tend to turn on similar analogues, explicit or submerged." How has the literature of the long twentieth century responded to philosophical and cultural transformations brought about by the rise of mind science? What thematic and formal means have literary artists used to explore the ontological, epistemological, and ethical implications of cognitive materialism? How has the explanatory power of cognitive science eclipsed the explanatory power of psychoanalysis in recent fiction and poetry? Possible topics include the neuronovel, drug use, the resistance to science, mental illness, correspondences between biological and textual form. Abstracts that address stylistic responses to the concept of embodied consciousness are especially welcome.
Please send abstracts of roughly 350 words to Nikki Skillman, firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 March, 2013