Call for Papers


Call for Proposals: Routledge Focus on Dialogues in Cognitive Literary Studies

The editors of the new book series Routledge Focus on Dialogues in Cognitive Literary Studies, Alice Bell, Richard Gerrig, and Ralf Schneider, invite proposals for said series.

Cognitive Literary Studies have seen a dynamic development in the last decades. Truly multi-disciplinary in nature, the field has received impulses from a varied set of approaches, including Cognitive Narratology, Film, Media and (Mass) Communication Studies, Cognitive Linguistics, Cognitive Semiotics, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Social Psychology, Neurobiology, Evolutionary Biology, and Philosophy (of Mind). It also involves a range of research methods ranging from hermeneutic analyses to qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection.

While different conceptual, terminological, and methodological traditions have advanced our under­standing of the interplay between literature and the mind enormously, one effect of this multi-disciplinarity is a remarkable proliferation of concepts and terms and some concomitant theoretical confusion that may prove detrimental to further development: concepts behind similar terms may overlap, and phenomena studied in the various sub-disciplines frequently appear to be similar, but the respective emphases may vary considerably; disciplines and their respective methodological traditions can be siloed where collaboration could be beneficial. Scholars in the field, as well as graduate and doctoral students, therefore find it increasingly difficult to orientate themselves in the maze of terminology and concepts. The result is that many remain within the confines of their particular subdiscipline rather than advancing the truly interdisciplinary program of the Cognitive Humanities in general, and Cognitive Literary Studies in particular.

We believe that it will be immensely helpful to address these terminological and conceptual entanglements explicitly. The new book series therefore creates a platform for true interdisciplinary exchange. It will

  • disentangle, volume by volume, central terms and concepts from confusion by looking at them from the perspective of (at least) two disciplines entering a dialogic exchange;
  • critically discuss the explanatory reach of major concepts and terms, both in the various disciplines in which they play a role, and in interdisciplinary exchange;
  • discuss both the theoretical and methodological implications that the respective research traditions bring to the discussion;
  • assess the applicability in actual research on phenomena of central interest to Cognitive Literary Studies.

In this burgeoning and quickly developing field, Routledge’s Focus program, with its scope of 20,000 to 50,000 words per title and the quick availability of new titles, will allow us to react flexibly to current and future developments. Each volume will be co-written by two or three scholars, ideally from different disciplines or sub-disciplines, who will approach a particular phenomenon – see the list of suggested topics below – from their disciplinary vantage points. The volume will start with short individual sections in which the authors present their take on the topic and the state of the art in their discipline. This part will then be followed by a truly interdisciplinary section in which the authors jointly assess the overlaps as well as the differences between their approaches, and consider further potential applications in the study of human cognition in language, literature and culture, in both theoretical and empirical research.

Suggested topics

  • Immersion, Transportation, Absorption
  • Perspective and Viewpoint in Narrative
  • 4e-Cognition and Literature
  • Empathy, Sympathy, Identification: Engaging with Fictional Characters
  • Suspense, Curiosity and Surprise: Narrative Dynamics
  • Conceptual Metaphors, Image Schemas and Literary Understanding
  • The Mind and the Text: Discourse Processing and Embodied Experience
  • Literature and Affect: Aesthetic and Fiction Emotions
  • The Neurobiology of Literary Understanding
  • Blending and Literature
  • Spatial Cognition and Literary Understanding
  • Experiments, Questionnaires, and Interviews: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Cognitive Literary Studies

The series editors are happy to receive your proposals for these and potential other topics.

Please contact us at

with a statement of interest. We will then supply further information on the editorial process.