Dr Miranda Anderson completed her MSc and PhD in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, after several years travelling and working in Europe and Asia, following on from her BA in History at University College London. Her travel abroad has included several years in Japan, first as a Monbukagakusho research scholar, supported by the Japanese Embassy in London, and later as a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). She was awarded an Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust in order to pursue work on a book, The Renaissance Extended Mind, which explores parallels (and contrasts) between recent philosophical theories on the extended mind and analogous ideas in literary, philosophical, and scientific texts circulating between the fifteenth and early-seventeenth century. Miranda is an associate researcher on The Balzan Project, which is based at St John’s College, Oxford University, and is directed by Prof Terence Cave. This interdisciplinary project aims to explore the topic of ‘Literature as an Object of Knowledge’.
Miranda combines specialization in Medieval and Renaissance literary, philosophical, and scientific texts, with a broader interest in investigating paradigms of the human mind and self across disciplinary and historical spans, along with related ethical issues. She edited an interdisciplinary book on the history of the mirror as an object and as an image in art and texts: The Book of the Mirror. She has published several papers on her past research in Japan exploring the implications of robotics for understandings of human subjectivity and examining relations between cognitive science and the arts and humanities.
Miranda is the initiator of and a co-investigator on the pilot project A History of Distributed Cognition which is based at Eidyn: The Edinburgh Centre for Epistemology, Mind and Normativity. The full-scale research project will aim to explore the expression and suppression of the paradigm of distributed cognition from classical antiquity to the mid-twentieth century.
Miranda organized the ‘Mind across Disciplines’ lecture series, which aimed to present the ways that ideas about the mind are being examined and applied in different disciplines across the disciplinary spectrum, in order to engage the public and seed interdisciplinary discussion at the University of Edinburgh. The series was funded by The Leverhulme Trust. Lectures in the series included: 'Thinking with Literature' (Prof Terence Cave, Oxford University), 'Curating the Brain' (Dr Marius Kwint, University of Portsmouth), 'Can Emotions be Extended?' (Dr Giovanna Colombetti, University of Exeter), 'Comics meet Cognition' (Dr Karin Kukkonen, Oxford University), 'The Rest is Science: What does Phenomenology tell us about Cognitive Science?' (Prof Michael Wheeler, Stirling University), and 'My mind's a blank...towards a history of absence' (Prof Jonathan Sawday, Saint Louis University).
Miranda is the initiator and conceptual director of the mobile web app ‘Palimpsest’. The prototype app Palimpsest: Literary Edinburgh arose out of the idea of creating an innovative way of engaging people with literature to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the University of Edinburgh’s English Literature department. It will enable users to access fictional and historical texts set in Edinburgh either via the webpage or via their mobile while exploring the city. The app is currently being developed through collaboration between the English Literature department and members of the research group CIRCLE.
• ‘Shakespeare’s Mind: Embodied and Extended,’ Reading, Mind and Body: A Lecture Series on Cognitive Approaches to Literature, Invited Speaker, University of Turku, Finland, 3rd December 2013
• ‘Communication, Theory of Mind and Embodiment,’ Chair of Discussion Panel, ‘Thinking with Literature’: Balzan Project Colloquium, Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, University of Oslo, 9-12th September 2013
• ‘Palimpsest,’ Digital Scholarship: Day of Ideas 2, University of Edinburgh, 2nd May 2013
• ‘The Finite and Extended Subject,’ Scientiae 2013: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World, Warwick University, 18-20th April 2013
• ‘Extending the Renaissance Mind,’ Cognitive Futures in the Humanities Conference, AHRC Research Network, Bangor University, 4-6th April 2013
• ‘Francis Bacon's Flux of the Spirits and Renaissance Paradigms of Hybridity and Adaptation,’ Edinburgh Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Edinburgh, 15th January 2013
• ‘Renaissance Phenomenology,’ ‘Embodied Cognition, Phenomenology and Literature’: Balzan Project Workshop, Royal Holloway University, 10-12th January 2013
• ‘Palimpsest,’ Electric Bookshop #7, Unesco City of Literature Event, Inspace, 9th August 2012
• ‘Reflection in Mirrors: On the Role of Mirrors in the Making of the History of Vision in the Middle East and Europe,’ invited speaker, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 22nd-23rd June 2012
• ‘Monstrous Philosophies,’ chair of panel, Sensualising Deformity Conference, University of Edinburgh, 15-16th of June 2012
• ‘Mind, Bodies, Technology,’ chair of panel, Cognitive Futures in the Humanities Symposium, AHRC Research Network, Northumbria University, 28th April 2012
• ‘The Extended and the Finite Subject in the English Renaissance,’ ‘Literary and Cognitive Ends’: Balzan Project Workshop, Durham University, 29th-31st March 2012
• ‘Thinking with Emblems,’ with Dr Laurence Grove, Renaissance and Early Modern Discussion Group, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, 22nd March 2012
• ‘Experiments in Drama: Questions of Intention’: Balzan Project Workshop, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, 10-11th January 2012
• ‘Through the Mirror,’ invited speaker, University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy, 1st August 2011
• ‘Renaissance Extended Emotions,’ presenter and chair of symposium ‘Extended Emotions,’ International Society for Research on Emotion Conference, Kyoto, 26-29th July 2011
• ‘Mirroring Mentalities in Wither’s Emblems,’ Ninth International Conference for Emblem Studies, Centre for Emblem Studies, Glasgow University, 27th June-1st July 2011
• ‘Hybrid Humans: Renaissance Paradigms of Appropriation and Adaptation,’ invited speaker at a colloquium on ‘Francis Bacon and the Materiality of the Appetites: Stoicism, Medicine and Politics,’ The Warburg Institute, London, 17th-18th June 2011
• ‘Methodologies that Matter,’ Bodies of Thought: Fleshy Subjects, Embodied Minds and Human Natures Conference, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 9-10th June 2011
• ‘“Look what thy memory cannot contain”: Extending the Renaissance Mind,’ Edinburgh Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Edinburgh, 18th January 2011
Current and Recent Teaching
• Mind, Subjectivity and Literature
• Critical Practice: Performance
• Dissertation Supervision
• Shakespeare’s Comedies: Identity and Illusion
• Shakespeare: Modes and Genres
• MSc in Design and Digital Media
This article was published on Nov 26, 2012