MemberMargaret Freeman

…sterdam and London: John Benjamins. Forthcoming.
2015. Authorial presence in poetry: Some cognitive reappraisals. Poetics Today 36.3: 201-231.
2014. Cognitive complexities in poetic art: Matthew Arnold’s “The Last Word.” Cognitive Semiotics CSN 2376820
2013. Cognitive poetics. In Michael Burke, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics, 313-328. New York and London: Routledge.
2013. Natural surroundings. In Eliza Richards, ed. Emily Dickinson in Context, 56-66. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2013. The influence of anxiety: poetry as a theory …

  Margaret H. Freeman is Professor Emerita, Los Angeles Valley College, and co-director of Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts ( She was a founding member and first president (1988-1992) of the Emily Dickinson International Society and moderates the monthly meetings of the Emily Dickinson Reading Circle at Myrifield in Heath, MA. She is a co-editor of the Oxford University Press series in Cognition and Poetics. Her research interests include cognitive poetics, aesthetics, linguistics, and literature. A list of her scholarly publications may be found at  

DepositBakhtin, Theory of Mind, and Pedagogy: Cognitive Construction of Social Class

This essay brings together cognitive literary theory and Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of dialogic imagination to illuminate the construction of social class in the eighteenth-century novel. It offers a close reading of selected passages from Frances Burney’s Evelina (1778), made possible by combining Bakhtinian and cognitive poetics. It also discusses the theoretical ramifications of this approach and demonstrates its use in an undergraduate classroom.

MemberYael Balaban

My research interests are: sensory representations in literature; musical ekphrasis; Literary theory; Cognitive poetics; Modern Hebrew literature; aesthetics.
My PhD thesis was about sensory representations and their significance in the prose of Hebrew writer Shulamith Hareven. Recently I co-authored an article on representations of music in fiction with musicologist Prof. Naphtali Wagner of the Hebrew University.

MemberLucia Martinez

I work primarily in early modern English poetry and non-dramatic prose, with a focus on Reformation politics and poetics; my Master’s thesis is on Donne’s first Satyre as prosopopoeia. My dissertation is titled _Making a Solemn Note: The Music and Meter of English Reformation Psalms_.Current (and ongoing) interests include the lyric poetry of Sidney and Donne, music in Milton, family dynamics in Shakespeare, Spenser’s shorter works and letters, and the science of cognitive poetics. My spare time is occupied by my beagle, Boswell, culinary debacles, penning a DIY column for, and my violin.BM, Violin Performance, Florida State University (2005); MA, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia (2007); PhD, English Literature, University of Pennsylvania (2014).

MemberJames Pangborn

Trained in 20th-centure American Lit with forays into 18th-C Brits, psychological approaches, poetics, and lit theory (decon., hermeneutics, and Frankfurt-school critical studies), I’ve evolved toward ecocriticism with a perspective I’m calling biopragmatism. Concerned to develop a robust poetics for the present century (and the long haul) I work the intersection of several disciplines and ideas: cognitive studies, especially linguistics; ecology, evolution, and other environmental models and disciplines; the canonical American pragmatists (especially Peirce and Dewey) and their present-day interpreters, and contemplative discipline (e.g. Zen). I think this nexus of theory and praxis offers us a better framework for studying art and culture, and a much better rhetorical presence as a discipline among other disciplines, than poststructuralism and/or the cultural studies hegemony presently do. I also write poems.

DepositPlace Deixis and the Schematics of Imagined Space: Milton to Keats

The infrequent, indefinite, and cumulatively inconsequential use of place deixis in the representation even of conceptually unified space is characteristic of the greater English lyric from Milton through the eighteenth century. In these poems, as Balz Engler has suggested, such deixis typically operates for the rhetorical sequencing of entities conceived as themes, rather than for the grounding and interrelation of entities conceived as objects within a represented scene. With the advent of romanticism, however, place deixis begins to appear with greater frequency, density, and variety, to trifold effect. It consolidates the represented scene, collapses that scene with the situation of discourse, and thereby reorients lyric attention to the local, relative, and embodied. Adapting recent arguments in spatial cognition and cognitive grammar, this study first describes the general functions of place deictic schemata in literary cognition, and then analyzes their poetic fortunes in relation to the concept of lyric sublimity from Milton to Keats.

DepositAristotle’s Poetics

This paper provides an overview and commentary of Aristotle’s theory of poetry, of drama, and of narrative structure, as presented the Poetics. The main emphasis falls on plot structure, but we expound other important subjects dealt with in the work, such as the cognitive origins of literature, the nature of poetry, an incipient theory of media and the analysis of genres, the nature and elements of tragedy, and other subjects such as epic narrative and the structure of critical debates.