Cognitive Futures 2015 — Forging Futures from the Past: History and Cognition

Oxford University, 13-15 April 2015

Confirmed plenary speakers: Hans Adler (Wisconsin); Paul Armstrong (Brown); Terence Cave (Oxford); Melba Cuddy-Keane (Toronto); John Neubauer (Amsterdam)

Building on the conferences associated with the Cognitive Futures in the Humanities network in Bangor (2013) and Durham (2014), the 2015 conference in Oxford aims once again to bring together a wide array of papers from the cognitive sciences, philosophy, literary studies, linguistics, narratology, cultural studies, critical theory, film, performance studies and beyond.

The guiding question behind the conference will be the relative demands of universality and historicity in studies of cognition: how much historical specificity can and should a cognitive approach to culture take into account? How might cognitive universals benefit from sociohistorical particulars? What are the opportunities that cognitivism brings to ‘traditional’, historicist and poststructuralist inquiry? Is there a middle ground between a non-intentionalist, phylogenetic, cognitive evolutionary history and a literary history driven by human agency and subjectivity?

We invite responses to these large questions to bear on cognitive topics such as mindreading/mentalizing; embodiment; ‘bio’ narratives/biocentrism; movement/kinesis; space/navigation; the self/subjectivity/qualia; perception and memory; bilingualism/multilingualism; translation; performance; affect and emotion ; neuro-phenomenology; neuro-aesthetics.

Other issues and topics relevant to the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Deep time, Deep history, Big history
  • Adaptation devices
  • Sociohistorical analyses of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive literary criticism
  • The biologization of culture
  • Postcolonial/cross-cultural perspectives on the cognitive
  • The linguistic turn and the cognitive turn
  • (Epi)genetics
  • Cognitive disability and mental illness

Submission Details

We will be accepting submissions for individual papers, pre-formed panels and pre-conference workshops.

For individual papers please send 250-word proposals to by 21st November 2014.

For pre-formed panels and workshops, please submit individual abstracts as well as a summary paragraph.

All submissions should be in Word file attachments and be anonymised. A short biography including the title of the paper, the name of the presenter, affiliation and email address should be sent as a separate attachment. For more information contact or