Friday, September 30, 2011

Journal Solicits Essays on Child Lit & Cog Sci

Hello Everyone

Here is the latest news about
International Research in Children's Literature.

Our special themed Issue (4.2) -- Between Imagined Signs and Social Realities: Representing Others in Children’s Fantasy and Folktale
-- is at proof stage and about to go back to the publisher for final corrections. It will appear on schedule in December.

Our following Issue, 5.1, will be a general issue. We can still consider submissions for this Issue, and, of course, for Issues 5.2 and 6.1 -- predominantly devoted to the theme of the 2011 IRSCL Congress (Fear and Safety in Children's Literature)

We would like to give advanced notice of our next themed Issue, 6.2, which will be devoted to "
Cognitive Literary Studies and Children’s Literature".
As I'm sure you are all aware, this is a recently emerging area in literary studies, and has as yet had very little presence in children's literature.
Submissions should be with the editors by February 1, 2013 (not much more than a year away!). I've pasted in the CfP below.

Cognitive Literary Studies and Children’s Literature

In this themed issue of IRCL we wish to throw out a challenge to scholars in our field to engage with the most recent, cross-disciplinary, approach to literary studies and explore what its implications and usefulness may be for the study of children’s literature. Over the past fifteen years or so, studies in areas referred to as cognitive poetics or theory of mind have proliferated and in doing so have drawn on a wide range of disciplines. Dedicated journals are beginning to appear, as, for example, Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind (2007+). A leading practitioner, Lisa Zunshine, encapsulates theory of mind as a term used ‘to describe our ability to explain behaviour in terms of underlying thoughts, feelings, desires, and intentions’. Artistic (visual and/or verbal) representations construct imaginary approximations of the semiotic and cultural practices which enable and explain interactions between people. In everyday life, our assumptions and explanations based on theory of mind may be misreadings. Translated into representation, such ambiguity contributes to what makes art interesting.

Contributors are invited to address any aspect of cognitive poetics, which may include, but need not be restricted to, the following:

Mind reading

Representation of intermental thought

Benefits to social understanding from reading fiction

Character development; attribution of (changing) mental states to fictional characters

Constructing fictional minds for fictional worlds

Reading minds by reading bodies

Representing emotional intensity

Implications for concepts of empathy

Representing the psychodynamics of shared understandings in fiction and film

Self/other and inner/outer distinctions

New ways to think about reader response

Key representational strategies: scripts, schemas, (poly-)focalization, free indirect discourse (etc.)

Impact of theory of mind on worldview

There is an ever-growing scholarly literature in this field. Some useful books are:

George Butte. I Know that You Know that I Know (2004)

Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner. The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities (2002)

Joanna Gavins and Gerard Steen (eds). Cognitive Poetics in Practice 2003)

David Herman (ed) Narrative Theory and the Cognitive Sciences (2003)

David Herman. Story Logic: Problems and Possibilities of Narrative (2002)

Paula Leverage (et al.) (eds). Theory of Mind and Literature (2011)

Lisa Zunshine. Strange Concepts and the Stories They Make Possible (2008)

Best wishes

John Stephens
Emeritus Professor in English
Macquarie University
Editor, International Research in Children's Literature


The interested may wish to look into Elaine Scarry's work: Griswold

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