Rethinking the Neuronovel: Towards a Narrative Model of Cognition

full name / name of organization: 
Hillel Broder / CUNY Graduate Center / NeMLA
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Marco Roth has recently suggested that we are living in the age of the neuronovel—a narrative form that narrates cognition in terms of neurochemistry, diagnosis, and heredity. Though recent narratives of amnesia, schizophrenia, and autism are often quick to identify their symptoms and types, the history of neurotypical and non-neurotypical minds in fiction is a long one. Instead of reading such fictions through the lens of biology, psychology, or neuroscience, however, how might we discover models of cognition that emerge from within narrative experiment itself? In this sense, this panel follows Lisa Zunshine's project of cognitive cultural studies (2010): Zunshine cites Raymond Williams's project of cultural studies as necessarily cognitive, in that brains are always already engaged in interpretation, aesthetics, and culture. Following Alan Palmer's suggestion in Fictional Minds (2004) that narrative theory has always been interested in the construction, figuring, and cognition of fictional minds in their socially embedded contexts, this panel welcomes papers that explore the limits of memory, representations of mind, or even perceptual consciousness within literary forms. It is especially interested in papers that examine, question, or reexamine literary experiments of cognition for their modeling, by way of aesthetics, poetics, and narratology, of various cognitive identities.

Please submit abstracts for this panel through the NeMLA portal ONLY: