Ségolène Tarte: Cognitive Futures in the Humanities
Report: Ségolène Tarte (Oxford e-Research Centre) gave a varied account of the recent Cognitive Futures in the Humanities Conference at Durham University, which brought together scholars of philosophy, literature and performing arts to discuss topics as diverse as narratology, theory of mind, memory and imagination as linked processes, multi-modality and the role of gesture in viewpoint persuasion, and definitions of presence. She then moved on to her own paper, 'Cognition and the digital: Embodied interactions in the study of ancient textual artefacts', which reflected on her work collaborating with classicists to develop new digital tools for papyrology. The wide-ranging discussion explored interpretation and reinterpretation in the act of "reading" ancient documents; aural processes and semantic memory as facilitators of the uncovering of words; and connections between ethnographic phenomena and cognitive literature. Questions were raised about the materiality of the artefacts and the potential problems of re-materialising objects through the use of digital tools, as well as broader questions of translating methods from the social sciences to the humanities.
Embodiment and Materiality
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