Poetic Image-Making and the Mind

Cognitive Visions: Poetic Image-Making and the Mind
St. John’s College Oxford, 11-12 January 2016

Ancient poetry provokes mental imagining on a vast scale. Throughout Greek and Latin literature, the audience is frequently invited to read imaginatively, either through formal tropes, such as ekphrasis, or through the usual narratorial description. The connections between vision and imagination, as well as the mental processes involved in both, have been extensively investigated in psychology, neuroscience and the other cognitive sciences, and are the subject of continued lively debate. The purpose of this conference is to explore the uses and limitations of the body of research for the study of ancient poetry.

Speakers:

Felix Budelmann (Oxford), ‘Visualising the Lyric Present’
Douglas Cairns (Edinburgh), ‘Vision, Visualization, and Emotional Contagion: Some Conceptual and Methodological Issues’
Katharine Earnshaw (Oxford), ‘Bodies of Knowledge and Embodied Corpora’
Roy Gibson (Manchester), ‘Selective Visual Attention in Roman Love Elegy’
Thomas Habinek (USC), ‘Images of Cremation in Classical Latin Poetry’
Luuk Huitink (Heidelberg), ‘Internal Audiences in Homer: Psychonarration or Visuality?’
Daryn Lehoux (Queen’s University, Ontario), ‘Knowledge of the Heavenly Causes and the Heavenly Causes of Knowledge in Manilius’
Nick Lowe (RHUL), ‘The Dreaming Eye’
Verity Platt (Cornell), ‘Cheiropoetics: Embodied Cognition and the Ekphrastic Work of the Hand’
Laura Swift (Open University), ‘Visualising Performance in Partheneia’
Barney Taylor (Oxford), ‘Visualising Colour in Simile’

In addition to the papers on classical texts, there will be a talk by Dr Mark Stokes (Psychology, Oxford), a neuroscientist specialising in attention and perception; a paper by Professor Terence Cave on his recent Balzan and St. John’s College funded project ‘Literature as an Object of Knowledge’; and a talk by Dr. Emily Troscianko (Modern Languages, Oxford) on her work on visual perception and cognitive humanities.

The full programme with timings will be published on the conference website, and the Classics Faculty webpage in due course.
Fees and Registration:

The conference will begin at 10am on 11th January, and finish by 5.30pm on 12th January. The cost for delegates will be £35, which will include tea and coffee, and a sandwich lunch on both days. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide accommodation. Please note that places have to be limited due to restrictions on space. To register a place, please visit the booking page here. The deadline for booking is the 18th of December 2015, or until the places are filled.

For any further information, please contact Katharine Earnshaw (katharine.earnshaw@sjc.ox.ac.uk) and Felix Budelmann (felix.budelmann@magd.ox.ac.uk). We would be grateful if you could copy us both in to any enquiry.

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