Unorthodox Minds: Innovative Exchanges Between Cognitive Studies, Narrative Theory and Contemporary Fiction (peer-reviewed edited volume)

deadline for submissions: 
October 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Grzegorz Maziarczyk / The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Call for Chapter Proposals for Peer-Reviewed Edited Volume 

Unorthodox Minds: Innovative Exchanges Between Cognitive Studies, Narrative Theory and Contemporary Fiction

edited by Grzegorz Maziarczyk and Joanna Klara Teske

 

In recent years research on the subject of consciousness, cognition, and the human mind has been constantly gaining momentum. New theories take emotions to be information processing programs which control the work of subprograms responsible for perception, attention or conceptual frameworks (Tooby and Cosmides), construe mental states − our subjective experience − as having no causal power (Dennett), claim that we read the minds of the others by simulating their experience (Goldman), submit that instead of being rational in our actions we simply post hoc rationalize them with the help of the interpreter module, confabulating when needs be (Gazzaniga). These and similar cutting-edge conceptualisations of consciousness and cognition have already attracted attention of both novelists (Peter Watts, Ian McEwan, David Lodge, Tom McCarthy, Julian Barnes) and narrative (postclassical) theorists (Monika Fludernik, Alan Palmer, David Herman, Lisa Zunshine). 

In 2016 and 2017 we edited two collections of essays on works of fiction investigating the human mind: Novelistic Inquiries into the Mind (Cambridge Scholars Publishing) and Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction(Brill). Though the two volumes have helped to fill an important gap in the literature, they have not exhausted the subject. Contemporary fiction as well as contemporary narrative studies seem to engage more than ever in interaction with cognitive studies and philosophy of mind offering provocative ideas and/or original means of their expression.

We invite proposal submissions for a forthcoming edited collection concerning recent developments in cognitive science and philosophy of mind and their reverberations in narrative theory and contemporary English-language fiction. We are especially interested in innovative theories of mind and equally innovative works of literature, which offer unorthodox representations of the human mind.

 We welcome research papers focused on any of the following issues:

− postclassical analyses of techniques for showing mental states/cognition in narrative fiction,

− literary responses to narrative theories of the mind,

− literary reception (in narrative studies and fiction) of phenomenological interpretations of the mindful body/ the embodied mind (rejecting the post-Cartesian dualism), 

− the use of experimental narrative strategies to problematize mental experience (cf. works such as The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway, Woman’s World by Graham Rawle, The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski or The Breathing Wall by Kate Pullinger, Stefan Schemat and babel),

− unnatural minds of narrative texts: examination of human minds carried out within the framework of unnatural narratology,

− new interpretations of the role of emotions and affect in contemporary fiction and/or narrative theory,

− analyses of literary representations of the impact of the Internet and, more generally, contemporary digital culture on the human mind,

− cultural minds: “fictional” representations of cultural differences between minds,

− the idea of the constructedness of the self: the role of the imagination in human subjective experience as explored in postmodern (meta)fiction,

− notions of extended mind and intermental thinking: their use in narrative theory and/or fiction,

− interactivism as a radically new interpretation of cognition: its reflection in narrative theory and fiction,

− “fictional” discussions on artificial intelligence and what they can reveal about the nature of the mind, 

− literary discussions on the subject of ethical consequences of recent developments in the theory of mind (ideas such as physical determinism, constructivism, epiphenomenalism),

− novelistic attempts to anticipate the future evolution of the human mind (posthumanity).

Proposals (250-word abstracts) should be submitted to grzegorz.maziarczyk@kul.pl and joanna.teske@kul.pl by October 01, 2021. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by October 30, 2021. Final papers will be expected by March 01, 2022. We hope to be able to publish the collection by the end of 2022. 

We would like to ask the authors to follow the MLA stylesheet (8th edition) and use British English spelling. Please attach a brief biographical note to your abstract. 

Grzegorz Maziarczyk, Associate Professor of Literary Theory 

Joanna Klara Teske, Associate Professor of Literary Studies 

 

Institute of Literary Studies 

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin 

Al. Racławickie 14 

20-950 Lublin 

Poland