Narrative, Culture, Cognition is a venue for thinking critically about narrative as a nexus between mind and culture. We are interested in the study of complex narrative and aesthetic forms that circulate in modern culture, within the shared or competing realities of belief, perception, and cognition, and in various contexts and frames of human behavior.
Questions we address include: Which specific narrative forms and aesthetic strategies emerge in response to environmental or societal change? How do narratives capture and contain complex ideas or painful experiences? Do narratives help us to develop creative ways of coping with uncertainty? How do they scaffold or enhance our thinking and emotion? The study of narrative contributes to the elucidation of thorny ethical and epistemological issues—such as the nature of selfhood, the ethics of representation, the theory and justification of action—and to a better understanding of human behavior in general.
Our current project on the role of imaginary scenarios in cultural dynamics bridges different research methodologies and approaches, within the common purpose of studying social and aesthetic imaginaries and their representations across narrative media. These approaches include postclassical narratology, theories of complexity, embodied cognition, philosophical and literary anthropology, new materiality, as well as autopathography and autotheory. The group organizes and hosts various events, including seminars, workshops, guest talks, presentations, reading sessions, and public lectures. It builds connections to the international research communities in Europe, North-America, and other parts of the world.