Cinema, Cognition and Art

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Babeș-Bolyai University
contact email: 

Call for papers Ekphrasis. Images, Cinema, Theory, Media. Vol. 19, Issue 2/2018

Ekphrasis is a peer-reviewed academic journal, edited by the Faculty of Theatre and Television, “Babes-Bolyai” University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, indexed by Clarivate Analytics Emerging Sources Citation Index, ERIH +, EBSCO, CEEOL

For more information and submission guidelines, please visit:


Cinema, Cognition and Art

In recent years, we have been talking about semiopragmatics (Roger Odin), neuroesthetics (Murray Smith), psychocinematics (Arthur Shimamura) or bioculturalism (Torben Grodal). A number of scholars are associated with this approach to aesthetics and cinematographic discourse in terms of cognitive processes: Torben Grodal, Roger Odin, Noel Carroll, David Bordwell, Laurent Jullier, Edward Branigan, Joseph D. Anderson, Murray Smith, Ed Tan. This year we are editing a volume dedicated to the investigations related to the study of cinema and the visual arts from a cognitive framework.

Replacing accents, rephrasing questions, questioning the theoretical assumptions of the cognitive approach and testing them on different corpora, these are the few tracks that this issue proposes to initiate. Our volume intends to study, with an interdisciplinary perspective, the cognitive approaches acquired in neuroscience-related fields: psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence or computer vision, literary theory, linguistics or sociology and their applications in the analysis of cinematographic discourse and the visual arts.

Between the film and the spectator arises a circuit of reciprocal influences. The purpose of the investigations to be developed in this issue on cinema is to present points of view on what is going on in the viewer's brain during the online cinematic experience and his post-event reconstruction / interpretation of this experience. The film analyst's task is to describe the mental architecture that gives meaning to audiovisual stimuli and to elaborate a theory of the perceptual, cognitive and emotional mechanisms that are active during and after the cinematic experience. Film exerts control over viewers’ brain activity as a function of movie conceptual content, perceptual patterns and editing constructions. Spectators bring their memories from personal and cultural knowledge to the film experience and acquire new ways of experiencing life experiences. In the cinema, viewers perceive fictional or documentary worlds, understand stories, experience immersive and powerful emotions, and learn life lessons.

The main questions of this issue of Ekphrasis are focusing on cognitive models that instantiate embodied mechanisms of incorporation and control. The processes operate at different levels of cognitive organization: perceptual and motor capture, embodied simulation (Gallese & Guerra 2012), narrative conceptual structures that activate narrative interest (Tan 1996), sensory-motor interaction with external stimuli, epistemic apprehension, but also successful brain interaction with the external world.

An important debate concerns the architecture of mental processes involved: one that is automatic, effortless, and heuristics-based and another one that is conscious, deliberate, and rule-based. Similarly, there can be a mixed sense of agency: on the one hand, that of an ‘online’ basic experience, sometimes without conscious intention and, on the other hand, that of ‘offline’ post-act judgments, which may actually distort the interpretation of one’s own agency. The knowledge of our actions and the sense of control we have on them should be reviewed – especially in view of the empirical findings from psychology and cognitive science regarding apparent mental causation (when we ‘interpret’ a conscious intention to perform a certain action as its cause). But we should also be aware of the fact that completely denying the role of mental representations would make it very difficult for us to account for our reasoning about abstract concepts, counterfactuals, and theoretical generalizations.




Main topics for debates and papers (non exclusive):


Issues related to the educational and persuasive function of film

Aesthetics and cognitive approaches of art and audiovisual media

New media, video games and embodied simulations

Immersion and absorption of the viewer in fiction and new media artifacts

Film embodiment mechanisms

Creative and receptive aspects of cinema form a synchronic / diachronic perspective

How emotions are made in cinema

How meaning can be grounded in visual form and bodily experience

Cognitive models of interpretation of film and visual art

The embodied and enactive approaches in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science

Movies conceptual content, perceptual patterns and editing constructions

Films as expressions of specific cultural experiences and their impact on society

Aesthetic experience and cognitive involvement of artworks

Aesthetic appreciation / emotion and aesthetic judgments


Issue editor: Mircea Deaca



NEW DEADLINE for abstracts of up to 300 words: August 15th 2018.

Final submission is due September 1st 2018.

The articles should be written in English or French (for English, please use the MLA citation style and documenting sources). 



For the final essay, the word limit is 5000-8000 words of text (including references).


Please include a summary and key-words


The articles should be original material not published in any other media before.


Graduate students and Ph. D. researchers are particularly encouraged to submit papers.


Please send all correspondence:;