Classic Works

Actual Minds, Possible Worlds Bruner, Jerome S. (1986) Harvard University Press.

Written at the start of the cognitive turn, combines cognitive psychology with literary theory, anthropology, and sociology to show how the human mind works imaginatively in the “narrative mode.”

Towards a ‘Natural’ Narratology Fludernik, M. (2002) Narratology. Routledge.

A complex but essential work that re-conceives of narratology as “natural,” that is, experiential and shaped by the cognitive frames that structure what we perceive around us.

Review by Eva von Contzen

The Language of Stories: A Cognitive Approach Dancygier, Barbara (2011) Cambridge University Press

Drawing specially on conceptual blending theory, Dancygier looks at cognition and language to discern how we make meaning through stories.

Story Logic: Problems and Possibilities of Narrative Herman, David (2002) University of Nebraska Press

Joins literary criticism, linguistics, and cognitive science to show that a narrative is not only a mode of discourse but also a cognitive resource for making meaning.

Prepare the Way of the Lord: Towards a Cognitive Poetic Analysis of Audience Involvement with Characters and Events in the Markan World Hartvigsen, Kirsten Marie (2013) BZNW180. De Gruyter

Uses cognitive poetics and psychonarratology to explain how the processes of oral performance of Mark’s Gospel have emotional effects and shape the identity of those who hear.

The Mind and Its Stories: Narrative Universals and Human Emotion Hogan, Patrick Colm (2003) Cambridge University Press

Builds on the link between cognitive science and literary theory to investigate how cross-cultural patterns in storytelling bear on the expression of human emotions.

Classical Plot and the Invention of Western Narrative Lowe, N.J. (2000) Cambridge University Press

Combines narratology and cognitive science to present a model for describing the structuring and comprehension of narrative, and for sketching the formation and development of ancient storytelling.

The Routledge Handbook of Classics and Cognitive Theory Meineck, Peter, William Michael Short, and Jennifer Devereaux (eds). 2019 London: Routledge

An international group of scholars applies cognitive theories to classical texts, also recruiting insights from linguistics, literary theory, social practices, performance, artificial intelligence and archaeology.

Possible worlds, artificial intelligence, and narrative theory Ryan, Marie-Laure (1991) Indiana University Press

Joins literary theory, artificial intelligence, and possible worlds theory to explore how we rely on our experience of the actual world to construct fictional worlds.

Grundriss zur kognitiven Theorie der Figurenrezeption. Am Beispiel des viktorianischen Romans Schneider, Ralf (2000) Stauffenburg.

Proposes a cognitive theory of the dynamics of the reception of characters. Although the focus of the book is on the Victorian novel, the results are highly applicable to ancient narratives as well. For those who do not speak German, this essay provides a concise summary and update of Ralf’s approach.

Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction Stockwell, Peter (2002) Routledge

Clear and accessible explanation of elements and movements in cognitive literary theory.

The Literary Mind: The Origins of Thought and Language Turner, Mark (1998) Oxford University Press

Recruits cognitive science and linguistics to argue that literary thinking is basic to every-day thinking, and that story and parable (the projection of a story) explain the every-day reasoning by which we make sense of the world.

Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel Zunshine, Lisa (2006) Ohio State UP

Makes advances to reader-response criticism by using cognitive science and evolutionary biology to illuminate the relationship between texts and readers, and to explain why and how we respond to stories.

Selected Works by Advisory Board Members

Volume 29 (2021): Issue 4-5 (Nov 2021): Special Issue: Cognitive Linguistics and New Testament Narrative: Investigating Methodology through Characterization by Jan Rüggemeier and Elizabeth E. Shively

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Poetik der markinischen Christologie: Eine kognitiv-narratologische Exegese: 458 (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe) German edition | by Jan Rüggemeier

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Methoden der neutestamentlichen Exegese: Eine Einführung für Studium und Lehre German edition | by Sönke Finnern and Jan Rüggemeier

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Homer's Versicolored Fabric: The Evocative Power of Ancient Greek Epic Wordmaking (Hellenic Studies Series): 50 by Anna Bonifazi

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Aidos: The Psychology and Ethics of Honour and Shame in Ancient Greek Literature by Douglas L. Cairns

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A Cultural History of the Emotions in Antiquity (The Cultural Histories Series) by Douglas Cairns

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The Scottish Legendary: Towards a poetics of hagiographic narration (Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture) by Eva von Contzen

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Sex, Wives, and Warriors: Reading Biblical Narrative with Its Ancient Audience by Philip F. Esler

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Cognitive Linguistic Explorations in Biblical Studies by Bonnie Howe and Joel B. Green

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Because You Bear This Name: Conceptual Metaphor and the Moral Meaning of 1 Peter: 81 (Biblical Interpretation Series) by Bonnie G Howe

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Powerful Prose: How Textual Features Impact Readers (Lettre) by R. L. Victoria Pöhls and Mariane Utudji

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Blending and the Study of Narrative: Approaches and Applications (Narratologia Book 34) by Ralf Schneider and Marcus Hartner

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Configuring Nicodemus: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Complex Characterization: 549 (The Library of New Testament Studies)

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The Ideology of Classicism: Language, History, and Identity in Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte Book 105) by Nicolas Wiater

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