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Consciousness and Cognitive Culture
Art and Adaptability argues for a co-evolution of theory of mind and material/art culture. The book covers relevant areas from great ape intelligence, hominin evolution, Stone Age tools, Paleolithic culture and art forms, to neurobiology. We use material and art objects, whether painting or sculpture, to modify our own and other people’s thoughts so as to affect behavior. We don’t just make judgments about mental states; we create objects about which we make judgments in which mental states are inherent. Moreover, we make judgments about these objects to facilitate how we explore the minds and feelings of others. The argument is that it’s not so much art because of theory of mind but art as theory of mind.
Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction is a collection of essays examining the potential of the contemporary English-language novel to represent and inquire into various aspects of the human mind. Grounded in contemporary literary theory as well as consciousness studies, the essays consider both narrative techniques by means of which writers attempt to render various states of consciousness (such as multimodality in digital fiction or experimental typography in post-traumatic narratives), and novelistic interpretations of issues currently being investigated by neurobiologists, cognitive scientists and philosophers of the mind (such as the adaptive value of consciousness or the process of self-integration by means of self-narration). The volume thus offers critical reflection upon the novel’s cognitive accomplishment in this challenging area.

Contributors are: Nathan D. Frank, Judit Friedrich, Justyna Galant, Marta Komsta, Péter Kristóf Makai, Ajitpaul Mangat, Grzegorz Maziarczyk, James McAdams, Daniel Panka, Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Joanna Klara Teske, Lloyd Issac Vayo, Dóra Vecsernyés, Sylwia Wilczewska
Narrating Life explores the relationship between literature, science and the arts and the way in which they are informed by the process of narrating life. More specifically, it asks: how do literature, science and the arts affect and are affected by the emergence of a critical culture of biopolitics and its rhetorical figurations? Its topicality for literary and cultural studies lies therefore in its exploration of the question: to what extent could narratives of life (or life-writing) be understood as a special practice through which to access the contemporary discussion about biopolitics with its strategies of immunity, mutation, and contagion. The individual contributions address these questions through focusing on new forms of life writing in traditional and new media, science writing and artistic and critical creative practice. In doing so, they also explore and redraw the boundaries between fictional and factual experimental practices.

Contributors: Amelie Björck, Elisabeth Friis, Holly Henry, Stefan Herbrechter, Tom Idema, Moritz Ingwersen, Cristina Iuli, Tanja Nusser, Angela Rawlings, Manuela Rossini, Dorion Sagan, Laura Shackelford, Amalie Smith, Marianne Sommer, Steve Tomasula, David Wagner , Jeff Wallace, Dominik Zechner.
Literature as cultural discourse has always courted mobility. From the nomadic wanderings of the heroes of Homer and Virgil through the adventures of the medieval knight-errants to the travellers of modern times, movement and mobility have been constitutive elements of story-telling. Since writers have begun to explore the experiential dimension of movement their texts have embraced the essential changeability and instability of ‘mobile worlds’. In this sense literature reflects and processes the transformative force of movement on the perception of the world and is part of the broader cultural discourses of mobility.
From the 1936 film Night Mail to the rapid movements of the dime novel detective and the metaphorical coding of automobility in Futurist poetry, the essays in this volume offer new perspectives on the phenomenon of mobility at the intersection between the literary imagination and cultural experience. They explore movement as a decisive force of change in the history of modernity and show how literature in its representation of mobility simultaneously aims both to mirror and to grasp the phenomenon.