Water and Cognition in Early Modern English Literature
Water and Cognition in Early Modern English Literature
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Table of Contents
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Introduction: “Watery Thinking: Minds and Water In and Beyond the Early Modern Period”
Part 1: Drowning on Stage
1. McKenna Rose, “Muddying the Waters: Thinking Thinking in Watery Context with Hamlet
2. Lianne Habinek, “Ophelia with Spectator: Hamlet and Watery Cognition”
3. Tony Perrello, “Monsters of the Deep: What Watery Dreams May Come in Shakespeare’s Richard III
4. Myra Wright, “Stink or Swim: Knee-Deep in Marlowe’s Edward II
Part 2: Fluid Metaphors
5. Benjamin Bertram, “Richard of Gloucester’s Elemental Thinking: Water and Sovereignty in Shakespeare’s First Tetralogy”
6. Douglas Clark, “The Sea of the Mind in Early Modern Poetry”
7. Jennifer Mae Hamilton, “Tears, Rain, and Shame: King Lear, Masculine Vulnerability, and Environmental Crisis”
Part 3: Forms of Water
8. Lowell Duckert, “Flake: The Shapes of Snow in Early Modern Culture”
9. Gwilym Jones, “No Darkness but Ignorance: Thinking Foggily in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama”
10. William Kerwin, “Speaking Water and Seeping Memory in Michael Drayton’s Poly-Olbion
Part 4: Submersive Tendencies
11. Dyani Johns Taff, “Estuarial Rage and Resistance in Pulter’s ‘The Complaint of Thames’”
12. Ben VanWagoner, “Jurisdiction: Oceanic Erasure and Indigenous Subjection in Dryden’s Amboyna
13. Sandra Young, “Thinking with the Ocean as Decolonial Strategy: Memory, Loss and the Underwater Archive in Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Afterword Evelyn Tribble .

Nicholas Helms, Steve Mentz (eds)

Water and Cognition in Early Modern English Literature

Water and cognition seem unrelated things, the one a physical environment and the other an intellectual process. The essays in this book show how bringing these two modes together revitalizes our understanding of both. Water and especially oceanic spaces have been central to recent trends in the environmental humanities and premodern ecocriticism. Cognition, including ideas about the “extended mind” and distributed cognition, has also been important in early modern literary and cultural studies over the past few decades. This book aims to think “water” and “cognition” as distinct critical modes and also to combine them in what we term “watery thinking.” Water and Cognition brings together cognitive science and ecocriticism to ask how the environment influences how humans think, and how they think about thinking. The collection explores how water — as element, as environment, and as part of our bodies — affects the way early modern and contemporary discourses understand cognition.

Nicholas Helms

Nic Helms is Assistant Professor of English at Plymouth State University. They are the author of Cognition, Misreading, and Shakespeare’s Characters (Palgrave, 2019) and of sundry articles and book chapters on cognition, disability, and tragedy, the most recent of which is “Seeing Brains: Shakespeare, Autism, and Self-Identification” in Redefining Disability (Brill, 2022).

Steve Mentz

Steve Mentz is Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City. He is the author of An Introduction to the Blue Humanities (Routledge, 2023), Ocean (Bloomsbury, 2020), and the editor of A Cultural History of the Sea in the Early Modern Era (Bloomsbury, 2021), among other books, chapters, and articles.