Preconference Doctoral Seminar

Cognitive Narratology Today
Prague, September 11–12, 2017

In conjunction with the 5th International Conference of the European Narratology Network, a pre-conference doctoral seminar on cognitive narratology will be held. The doctoral seminar will be primarily devoted to the topics connected with general narratological and poetological concepts such as Fictional Characters and Their Minds, Time and Temporality, and Reader, Reading and Interpretation as viewed from the cognitive perspective. Both proposals with theoretical perspectives and particular analyses are welcomed. 

Applicants for the seminar must be doctoral students during the 2017–2018 academic year.

Prospective participants are asked to send a 500-word description of their doctoral research together with their résumés and name of institutional affiliation via the registration form. The deadline for submissions is March 31 April 30, 2017.

The seminar will consist of an introductory lecture, delivered by the leader of the seminar and keynote speaker, Prof. Monika Fludernik (University of Freiburg), and of four working sections to which the participants will be distributed according to their particular topics. The seminars will be led by four supervisors, who are experts on particular topics. Each student will present their topic (10–15 min), after which the supervisor’s comment on the topics, and a discussion, will follow.  

Monika Fludernik is Professor of English at the University of Freiburg. She has extensively published on narratology, literary theory, stylistics, and cognitive theory. Her publications include The Fictions of Language and the Languages of Fiction (1993), Towards a ‘Natural’ Narratology (1996), and An Introduction to Narratology (2009).

Working sections and supervisors:

Dr. Anežka Kuzmičová

Readers and Conceptualization
The section is centered about the reader and integrates the following approaches: embodied and situated cognition; readers’ engagement with fictional characters and situations (studied empirically and theoretically); and an aesthetic research rationale exploring the role of readers' hedonic experiences in higher-order meaning-making.

Dr. Richard Müller
Institute of Czech Literature of the CAS, The Czech Republic

Time and Narration
The section addresses the relation between time and narration. The following areas of study are recommended: transformation of the classical narratological categories of time from the perspective of cognitive sciences (e.g., the set of temporal, aspectual and modal characteristics of narration), or from the viewpoint of intermedial and transmedial narratology (differences of temporalities in various media and arts), in theoretical and empirical terms; temporal differences of layers (phases) of the work; temporal distinctions of fictional and non-fictional narration; aesthetic implications of specific philosophical conceptions of temporality.

Prof. Marco Caracciolo
Ghent University, Belgium 

Readers, Characters, and Intersubjectivity
The group will tackle the challenges involved in bridging the gap between everyday mental functioning and the minds we attribute to characters. We will discuss the concept of “folk psychology” as the set of assumptions and expectations about mind that mediate between narrative representation and culture more generally. Against this background, we will examine the ways in which narrative may intervene in folk psychology by shaping or extending conceptualizations of mind. Finally, we will focus on readers’ engagements with minds that they know to be fictional, and how awareness of fictionality can elicit responses that are unlikely in real-world intersubjectivity.

Dr. Mike Sinding
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Social Minds
Recent research on cognition pushes the scope of the mind beyond the bounds of the skull. The mind and mental activity are thereby seen in new ways: not as mere abstract information-processing in the individual brain, but as potentially deeply involving bodily perception, feeling and action, physical objects and settings, and much of what goes by the name of “culture”: social situations, practices and institutions, technologies, and crucially, other minds. 
These concerns have been taken up with great interest in narratology and other areas of literary study, and the seminar aims to explore this uptake in depth. 
We will focus on the idea of the extended mind generally, and social minds in particular—that is, how “intermental units” (cognitive systems of more than one person) are represented and thematized in narrative.