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The Place of the Cognitive in Literary Study (completed)

This project is a forum for research exchange in cognitive approaches to literature. It will develop a metadiscourse about the problems and possibilities of this new interdisciplinary research field.

A lamp and desk with an open book.
Photo: Colourbox

About the project

Today, cognitive literary study is establishing itself as a field that brings together literary study with the methods from the cognitive sciences and their models for the human mind. What goes on in the minds and bodies readers of literature or audiences of theatre or film? Literary study has time and again explored new angles on the issue. The place of the 'cognitive' (writ large to include also imaginative and emotional aspects of cognition) in literary study, however, is neither clear nor uncontested.

This project will seek answers to how we can understand and conceptualise literary study’s engagement with the current formulations of the cognitive in the sciences, philosophy and the study of reading.


“The Place of the Cognitive” will establish an open forum for literary study that is interdisciplinary and aware of its social impact.


NOS-HS Explorative Workshops




Kukkonen, Kuzmicova, Christiansen and Polvinen (eds) "The Place of the Cognitive in Literary Studies".


The Place of the Cognitive in Literary Study. Workshop III: Purpose

Time and place: May 24, 2019, Helsinki, Helsinki Collegium

Plenary speaker

  • Teresa Cremin (Open University)

Workshop participants

  • Camilla Chams (Oslo)
  • Steen Ledet Christiansen (Aalborg)
  • Olivia Da Costa Fialho (Oslo)
  • Alexandra Effe (Oslo)
  • Yasemin Nurcan Hacioglu (Oslo)
  • Natalia Igl (Oslo)
  • Veli-Matti Karhulahti (Turku)
  • Kaisa Kortekallio (Helsinki)
  • Päivi Kosonen (Turku)
  • Karin Kukkonen (Oslo / Berlin IAS)
  • Anezka Kuzmicova (Stockholm)
  • Anne Mangen (Stavanger)
  • Erik van Ooijen (Örebro)
  • Anna Ovaska (Helsinki)
  • Kjell Ivar Skjerdningstad (OsloMet)
  • Howard Sklar (Helsinki)
  • Mette Steenberg (Aarhus)
  • Esko Suoranta (Helsinki)
  • Thor Magnus Tangerås (Kristiania)
  • Anna Thörnell (Stockholm)


  • Merja Polvinen (Helsinki)
  • Hanna-Riikka Roine (HCAS)
  • Kaisa Kaakinen (HCAS)
  • Research assistant Tommi Laine (Helsinki)

The Place of the Cognitive in Literary Study. Workshop II: Object and Methods.

November 9, 2018 – The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, Stockholm

Workshop participants

  • Greger Andersson, Örebro University
  • Staffan Carlshamre, Stockholm University
  • Steen Ledet Christiansen, Aalborg University
  • Ulf Cronquist, University of Gothenburg
  • Eric Cullhed, Uppsala University
  • Östen Dahl, Stockholm University & The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities
  • Yasemin Nurcan Hacioglu, University of Oslo
  • Fredrik Ilberg, Stockholm University
  • Kaisa Kortekallio, University of Helsinki
  • Anezka Kuzmicova, Stockholm University
  • Pirjo Lyytikäinen, University of Helsinki
  • Anne Mangen, University of Stavanger
  • Irene Martinez Marin, Uppsala University
  • Winfried Menninghaus, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt
  • Erik van Ooijen, Örebro University
  • Jeremy Page, Uppsala University
  • Merja Polvinen, University of Helsinki
  • Göran Rossholm, Stockholm University
  • Kjell Ivar Skjerdingstad, Oslo Metropolitan University
  • Howard Sklar, University of Helsinki
  • Mette Steenberg, Danish Reading Society
  • Anna Thörnell, Stockholm University
  • Andreas Wahlberg, Stockholm University
  • Boel Westin, Stockholm University

The Place of the Cognitive in Literary Studies. Workshop I

25 May 2018, The Literary Archive, Oslo, Norway.


  • Terence Cave: “Literature in the Cognitive Archive”
  • Kjell Ivar Skjerdingstad, Erik van Ooijen and Ylva Østby: Panel Discussion
  • Eric Cullhed: “Grievable Lives and Enjoyable Deaths in Homer and Virgil”
  • Karin Kukkonen: “Probability, Predictions and the Books We Have not Read"
  • Steen Ledet Christiansen “Shock, Wonder and Estrangement: A Mood-Based Approach to Science Fiction”
  • Anezka Kuzmicova: Roundtable
  • Steen Ledet Christiansen (Aalborg), Merja Polvinen (Helsinki) and Karin
  • Kukkonen (Oslo)

Local organiser: Karin Kukkonen

Published Oct. 27, 2020 12:22 PM - Last modified May 16, 2022 11:34 AM