What is the ‘cognitive humanities’? In what ways is knowledge from the cognitive sciences changing approaches to language, literature, aesthetics, historiography and creative culture? How have practices in the arts and humanities influenced the cognitive sciences, and how might they do so in the future?

The First International Cognitive Futures of the Humanities Conference seeks to address these and other questions over the next four days at Bangor University in Wales. The conference is associated with the international AHRC research network of the same name, supported by an AHRC grant awarded to our new Durham colleague and Hearing the Voice Project member Dr Peter Garratt and Prof. Vyv Evans (Bangor University).

I am delighted to be chairing a panel entitled “Hearing the Voice: A Project Across Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Neuroscience” which presents research currently underway in the hermeneutics branch of our project. Ranging from the medieval to the postmodern, my colleagues’ three papers will open up new perspectives on the relationship between voices and texts, authority and experience.

  • Dr Hilary Powell,  Medieval miracle narratives and the writing of fictional phenomenology
  • Dr Marco Bernini, A Crowded Soundscape: The Phenomenology Of Voice‐Hearing In Samuel Beckett
  • Prof Patricia Waugh, Postmodernism, the Neo-Phenomenological Novel and the Critique of Neuro-Psychiatry

Abstracts for these and other talks (including the provocatively entitled “Why We are Not All All Novelists” by Shaun Gallagher, the celebrated philosopher and a member of our international advisory board) can be found here. I will be live-tweeting from the conference (@literarti) using the official hashtag #coghumanities.

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