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Durham University

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Dr Marco Bernini

Assistant Professor in Cognitive Literary Studies in the Department of English Studies

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Before taking up my current assistant professorship in Cognitive Literary Studies I was a Marie Curie Junior Research Fellow (2012-2014) and a Postdoctoral Research Associate (2014-2018) in the Department of English Studies. I am also a core member of the Wellcome Trust interdisciplinary project on auditory-verbal hallucinations ‘Hearing the Voice' at Durham University. Outside Durham, I am a member of a project on 'Narrative and Complex Systems' at the University of York (Interdisciplinary Centre for Narrative Studies) and of the 'History of Distributed Cognition' project (2014-2018; University of Edinburgh). My research interests are equally partitioned into narrative theory (in particular cognitive narratology), modernist fiction (notably the narrative work of Samuel Beckett), and cognitive science. Since from my PhD (2008-2011; University of Parma), I mainly worked on how modernist novels portray or explore cognitive processes. I also worked on the relationship between fictional writing, distributed cognition, and literary intentionality during my first postdoctoral experience at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (2011-2012; University of Edinburgh). I am now writing a book on Samuel Beckett and cognition ('Beckett and the Cognitive Method: Mind, Models, and Exploratory Narratives'; OUP, forthcomig). I have co-authored with Marco Caracciolo a book on literature and cognitive science (Roma:Carocci, 2013).

Research Interests

  • Narrative Theory
  • Cognitive Narratology
  • Samuel Beckett
  • Literary Modernism
  • Cognitive Processes in the Novel
  • Narrative and the Self

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2018: Durham University Research Awards 2018: I have been awarded a Research Staff Award joint first prize (together with Ben Alderson-Day, Psychology) for contracted research staff employed on projects led by a member of Durham Academic Staff.


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Seedcorn Impact Research Fund: £15000 (co-applicant with Professor Corinne Saunders and Dr Peter Garratt); grant awarded to realise an experimental research-based perfomance of Beckett's Company