Call for Papers


Call for Papers: Edited Volume "Poetics of Disturbances: Narratives of Non-Normative Bodies and Minds"

The functioning of fictional minds and the representation of character bodies are research areas which have been investigated through several different theories and approaches. Fictional minds have been prominently analysed by scholars in the field of cognitive literary studies, Theory of Mind, or character studies, such as Alan Palmer, Lisa Zunshine, Vera Nünning, and many more. Fictional bodies are not frequently addressed in narratology (exceptions are e.g. Daniel Punday’s work on corporeal narratology or takes on character embodiment), but they have been investigated through several other lenses, e.g. cultural studies or disability studies. Furthermore, narratives in various genres deal with bodies and minds that challenge normative assumptions of physical and mental health.

In this volume, we will focus on the specific occurrences of non-normative bodies and minds and include research in which narrative theory meets narratives of the body, narratives of the mind and the common ground between them. Thus, we invite scholars to engage with the intersections between literary and cultural studies and the representations of non-normative bodies and minds.

Abstracts for essays should be linked to one of the following areas:

  • Theoretical Approaches from Literary or Cultural Studies to Representations of Non-Normative Bodies and Minds

  • Cognitive, Cultural, Literary or Linguistic Intersections of Physical and/or Mental Health

We welcome contributions from different disciplines and research on various narrative media, particularly essays producing exemplary readings.

If you are interested in contributing an essay, send us an abstract of no more than 300 words to The deadline for submitting an abstract is July 15, 2021.


Call for Papers: Second ACCELS Workshop - Interfaces of First- and Second-Generation Approaches in Cognitive Literary Studies

Online Workshop October 7-8, 2021

In contemporary cognitive literary studies, scholars differentiate between first- and second-generation approaches to human cognition. The former tend to look at the mind in isolation, comparable to a computer system. They focus on information processing and the creation of theories and models that make sense of mental representations and simulations. The latter shift their focus to the embodied mind, to the assumption that body and mind are interdependent. This interdependency also extends to the relation of interpersonal and environmental factors, and both, in combination with our sensorimotor actions, are taken into consideration to comprehend our mental processes in the production and reception of literature. It needs to be clarified whether questions of what it is like to have an experience or what happens in our mind-bodies while we read could also be investigated by the use of scientific methods from other disciplines, in particular empirical reader studies.

The debate surrounding first- and second-generation approaches has somewhat overstated the differences between their conceptualisations of the reading experience. The aim of the workshop, in contrast, is to explore the possibilities for mutual engagement and to address, e.g., the following questions:

  • How do reading reactions governed by the principles of 4e-cognition interact with the activation of knowledge structures, schemata and scripts?

  • What are the overlaps and what are the differences between 4e/4ea/6e/embodied/situated/distributed cognition?

  • What is the role of cultural models and simulators in text understanding?

  • How can the cognitive and affective aspects of the reading experience be traced through

    combinations of first- and second-generation concepts?

  • What are the methodological consequences of first- and second-generation concepts,

    respectively, and can there be mixed methods that take into consideration both approaches?

If you have further suggestions on topics connected with the interface of first- and second-generation cognitive approaches, we are happy to consider integrating them in the workshop.

The first ACCELS online workshop in 2020 has demonstrated the need for interdisciplinary dialogue and exchange over concepts, terms, and methods, and the second workshop will continue that dialogic mode. Instead of the standard paper-plus-discussion format, we will have short impulse statements in pre-organized groups followed by extended discussions.

If you are interested in this event, please send a short (ca. 350 words) summary of ideas, concepts or methods that you want to discuss to by August 2, 2021.

We will approach participants again after having received all proposals with a preliminary schedule of the panels, and we will then bring panelists into contact with each other.