The origin of this site is a reading list Felix and Katharine wanted to put together for a conference on a cognitive-as-well-as-classical theme; what began life as a gathering of relevant bibliography within Classics, soon expanded outwards. Funding from the Fell Fund and St. John’s College (Oxford) allowed Emily Troscianko to join and to design and compose the Cognitive Humanities and the Empirical Methods sections. While the discussions were collaborative, these final results represent many hours of Emily’s work, and it is she who should be understood as the author of those two sections.
Our primary aim in the Cognitive Humanities bibliography is to provide a resource for scholars in the humanities interested in how the questions they ask about texts might intersect with questions that cognitive scientists address from different angles. (It may also be of interest to cognitive scientists who want to know more about how the humanities are engaging with questions about the mind.) This bibliography is highly selective, and inevitably involves a good deal of subjective judgement. Because of Emily’s (and indeed Felix’s and Katharine’s) research backgrounds, this bibliography has a distinctly literary slant.
By contrast, the aim of the Cognitive Classics Bibliography is to provide a reasonably comprehensive list, inclusive both of all the various interlocking subject areas within Classics, and of all the current research that has been published in this emerging area. We launch the site knowing that many more Classics pieces exist that have not yet been included, and hope that those gaps will be filled quickly as authors contact us with bibliographic information.
Both bibliographies use the same topic headings to make orientation easier. The majority of the areas covered are core ‘cognitive’ topics: aspects of cognition like memory or attention, on which the primary research has traditionally been carried out by cognitive scientists (amongst whom we include philosophers of mind), and which do not have a strong tradition in the humanities. Also included are a few ‘crossover’ topics, like interpretation and aesthetic experience, where the sciences and the humanities have equally significant – but historically often unconnected – traditions of inquiry. A third, separate, section focuses on empirical methods, and sets out some important empirical paradigms as they have been used in the cognitive sciences and adopted or adapted for humanities research.
The annotations in the Cognitive Humanities bibliography perform a similar function to article abstracts, being primarily descriptive rather than evaluative, but they are typically much shorter and angled towards what we have decided – subjectively – might be of particular relevance. The abstracts in the Cognitive Classics bibliography are the authors’ own.
The versions on this site are up to date as of early 2017; we envisage updating the Classics bibliography regularly, and the Humanities bibliography periodically, and will be grateful for any input we receive. In the meanwhile, we hope the website is helpful.
Felix Budelmann, Katharine Earnshaw, and Emily Troscianko