University of Cambridge > > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > 3rd Cambridge Symposium on Cognitive Approaches to Children’s Literature

3rd Cambridge Symposium on Cognitive Approaches to Children’s Literature

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Keynote Speakers: Professor Karen Coats (Illinois State University) and Professor Rosalind Ridley (University of Cambridge)

Literary cognitive criticism (also known as cognitive poetics, cognitive narratology, literary affect theory, embodied cognition, along with a number of other labels) has become a noticeable direction of international children’s literature research, visible in recent publications and conference presentations. The first Cambridge symposium in 2014 mapped existing research through talks by international scholars and posters by doctoral students. The second symposium in 2016 featured Peter Stockwell, and focused on doctoral projects. While these events were by invitation, we are opening this symposium to broader participation.

We invite 200-word paper proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspect of cognitive approaches to children’s and adolescent fiction, as well as fiction portraying children and young people. We particularly encourage papers focused on multimodal texts, including visual media, picturebooks, comics, and films. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • schemas and scripts
  • theory of mind/mind-modelling
  • empathy and emotions
  • empathy and ethics
  • memory and identity
  • cognitive-affective engagement with place and space
  • cognitive approaches to specific genres
  • cognitive approaches to ideology, alterities and social justice
  • cognitive approaches to reading, literacy and education
  • empirical work on young people’s engagement with fiction

We will also consider proposals for panels (3-4 papers on a specific topic) and poster presentations of work-in-progress.

There will be a workshop during part of the second day, during which we will discuss submitted works that are in progress. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for this.

The registration fee of £40 (£30 for students) will include lunches and refreshments.

Deadline for proposals: January 6, 2017.

Early submissions or indications of interest will be highly appreciated. Please send your proposal, together with a 50-word bio, to Professor Maria Nikolajeva at

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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