There is a growing sense among scholars working in cognitive literary studies that their assumptions and methodologies increasingly align them with another paradigmatically interdisciplinary field: comparative literature. This introduction to the special issue on cognitive approaches to comparative literature explores points of alignment between the two fields, outlining possible cognitivist interventions into debates that have been animating comparative literature, such as those concerning “universals,” politics of translatability (especially in the context of world literature), and practices of thinking across the boundaries of media. It discusses both fields’ indebtedness to cultural studies, as well as cognitive literary theorists’ commitment to historicizing and their sustained focus on the embodied social mind.
Embodied Social Cognition and Comparative Literature: An Introduction
Lisa Zunshine is Bush-Holbrook Professor of English at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, former Guggenheim fellow (2007), and author and editor of eleven books, including Strange Concepts and the Stories They Make Possible: Cognition, Culture, Narrative (2008), Getting Inside Your Head: What Cognitive Science Can Tell Us about Popular Culture (2012), and The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Literary Studies (2015) She is currently completing a book-length comparative study of the construction of fictional minds in Chinese, Russian, and English literature.
Lisa Zunshine; Embodied Social Cognition and Comparative Literature: An Introduction. Poetics Today 1 June 2020; 41 (2): 171–186. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-8172500
Download citation file: