With the rapid development of the cognitive sciences and their importance to how we contemplate questions about the mind and society, recent research in the humanities has been characterised by a ‘cognitive turn’. For their part, the humanities play an important role in forming popular ideas of the human mind and in analysing the way cognitive, psychological and emotional phenomena are experienced in time and space. This collection aims to inspire medievalists and other scholars within the humanities to engage with the tools and investigative methodologies deriving from cognitive sciences. Contributors explore topics including medieval and modern philosophy of mind, the psychology of religion, the history of psychological medicine and the re-emergence of the body in cognition. What is the value of mapping how neurons fire when engaging with literature and art? How can we understand psychological stress as a historically specific phenomenon? What can medieval mystics teach us about contemplation and cognition?
This study brings together medieval studies and cognitive methodologies in a study specifically aimed at medievalists.
It presents a longer history of certain mental health conditions and locates contemporary debates about the mind in a broader historical framework.
It considers both the benefits of incorporating insights from contemporary neuroscientific and cognitive studies into the exploration of the past, and the benefits of employing historical models and case studies in order to reflect on modern methods.
uliana Dresvina is a member of the History Faculty at the University of Oxford, teaching on late-medieval devotion and history of mentality to Middlebury College-CMRS Oxford Humanities Program.
Victoria Blud is a research associate in the Department of English and Related Literatures at the University of York, specialising in studies of gender, transgressive speech, emotion, cognition, and ideas about the body.
University of Wales Press
University of Wales Press believes in supporting and disseminating scholarship from and about Wales to a worldwide audience. They mainly publish books in the humanities, arts and sciences.