I completed my MSc and PhD in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, after several years travelling and working in Europe and Asia, following on from my BA (Hons) in History at University College London. My travel abroad has included several years in Japan, as a Monbukagakusho Research Scholar and as a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). I was awarded an Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust (2011-13) in order to pursue work on a book, The Renaissance Extended Mind, which explores parallels (and contrasts) between recent philosophical theories on the embodied and extended mind and analogous ideas in literary, philosophical, and scientific texts circulating between the fifteenth and early-seventeenth century.
I was an Associate Researcher on The Balzan Project (2012-13), based at St John's College, Oxford, and directed by Prof. Terence Cave. This interdisciplinary project explored the topic of ‘Literature as an Object of Knowledge’ and focused on cognitive approaches to literary studies. I initiated and was a Research Fellow on two AHRC-funded projects at the University of Edinburgh: 'Palimpsest' (2014-15) and 'A History of Distributed Cognition' (2014-18). I was a Nominated Fellow at IASH from March to September 2018. I'm currently leading a project on 'The Art of Distributed Cognition' (2019-20).
In 2017 I was appointed Regional Director for Scotland of the JSPS Alumni Association and was a participant in Scottish Crucible. In 2018 I was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland and in 2019 I was appointed lead of their strategic theme 'Smarter'. I am an Honorary Fellow in History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. Some previous publications are available here: https://bit.ly/2xU7I5Z
I combine 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.
I am Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project 'The Art of Distributed Cognition' (£98,886), which through a new collaboration with Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh is creating 'The Extended Mind', a contemporary art exhibition, which will run from November 2019 to February 2020. The Extended Mind exhibition explores how art plays a vital role in scaffolding new forms of understanding, and the diverse ways that art enables critical and creative thinking beyond the constraints of one’s own unaided imagination, or that of sociocultural norms and accepted conventions in which we can become blindly immersed.
This builds on the momentum of the AHRC-funded project 'A History of Distributed Cognition' (2014-18) which I initiated and was a Research Fellow on: http://www.hdc.ed.ac.uk/. The project explored the expression and suppression of the paradigm of distributed cognition from classical antiquity to the mid-twentieth century. I am an editor on the four volumes forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press (2018-19).
I was the initiator of Palimpsest as a prototype and of the AHRC-funded project on which I then became a Research Fellow (2014-15). Palimpsest enables users to access fictional and historical texts set in Edinburgh either via the webpage or via their mobile while exploring the city. The outcome of this project, now renamed Lit Long, can be found here: http://litlong.org/ . The project was awarded runner-up British Library Labs 2015 Award for Research.
I 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 (2007). I have also published several papers on my research in Japan with Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro; these explore the implications of robotics for understandings of human nature. More generally, my recent publications examine relations between research in philosophy of mind and cognitive science and in the arts and humanities, and consider the ways in which these disciplines can inform each other. I am also interested in how the digital humanities can contribute to our reading of literary texts, particularly in terms of assessing the attribution of aesthetic qualities.
I am a collaborator on the Royal Society of Edinburgh and AHRC funded project: The Cognitive Experience of Verbal versus Screen-based Narrative and the Potential Role of the Episodic Memory System (2016-18).
Anderson M & Wheeler M (eds.) (2019) Distributed Cognition in Medieval and Renaissance Culture. The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition Series. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-distributed-cognition-in-medieval-and-renaissance-culture.html
Anderson M, Rousseau G & Wheeler M (eds.) (2019) Distributed Cognition in Enlightenment and Romantic Culture. The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition Series. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-distributed-cognition-in-enlightenment-and-romantic-culture.html
Anderson M (2019) Distributed cognition in Enlightenment and Romantic studies. In: Distributed Cognition in Enlightenment and Romantic Culture. The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition, pp. 27 - 39. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-distributed-cognition-in-enlightenment-and-romantic-culture.html
Anderson M (2019) Distributed cognition in Medieval and Renaissance studies. In: Anderson M & Wheeler M (eds.) Distributed Cognition in Medieval and Renaissance Culture. The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition Series. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 18-43.
Jajdelska E, Anderson M, Butler C, Fabb N, Finnigan E, Garwood I, Kelly S, Kirk W, Kukkonen K, Mullally S & Schwan S (2019) Picture this: A review of research relating to narrative processing by moving image versus language. Frontiers in Psychology, 10 p. 15, Art. No.: 1161. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01161
Anderson M (2019) Adapted Brains and Imaginary Worlds: Cognitive Science and the Literature of the Renaissance by Donald Beecher. University of Toronto Quarterly, 87 (3), pp. 441-442. https://doi.org/10.3138/utq.87.3.99
Anderson M, Cairns D & Sprevak M (eds.) (2018) Distributed Cognition in Classical Antiquity. The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition Series. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-distributed-cognition-in-classical-antiquity.html
Anderson M, Wheeler M & Sprevak M (2018) Distributed cognition and the humanities. In: Anderson M, Cairns D & Sprevak M (eds.) Distributed Cognition in Classical Antiquity. The Edinburgh History of Distributed Cognition Series. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 1-17. https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-distributed-cognition-in-classical-antiquity.html
Anderson M (2018) Shakespeare and the Mind. In: Bourne C & Caddick Bourne E (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Philosophy. Routledge Philosophy Companions. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 436-53. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Shakespeare-and-Philosophy/Bourne-Bourne/p/book/9781138936126
Anderson M & Iversen S (2018) Immersion and Defamiliarization: Experiencing Literature and World. Poetics Today: International Journal for Theory and Analysis of Literature and Communication, 39 (3), pp. 569-595. https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-7032760
Loxley J, Alex B, Anderson M, Hinrichs U, Grover C, Thompson T, Harris-Birtill D, Quigley A & Oberlander J (2017) 'Multiplicity embarrasses the eye': The digital mapping of literary Edinburgh. In: Gregory I, Debats D & Lafreniere D (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Spatial History. Routledge Companions. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 604-628.
Anderson M & Loxley J (2017) The Digital Poetics of Place-Names in Digitised Literary Edinburgh. In: Murieta-Flores P, Cooper D & Donaldson C (eds.) Literary Mapping in the Digital Age. Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 47-66.
Alex B, Grover C, Oberlander J, Thompson T, Anderson M, Loxley J, Hinrichs U & Zhou K (2017) Palimpsest: Improving Assisted Curation of Loco-specific Literature. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 32 (Supplement 1), pp. 4-16. https://doi.org/10.1093/llc/fqw050
Anderson M (2016) Francis Bacon's Flux of the Spirits and Renaissance Paradigms of Hybridity and Adaptation. In: Giglioni G, Lancaster J, Corneanu S & Jalobeanu D (eds.) Francis Bacon on Motion and Power. International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées, 218. Switzerland: Springer, pp. 133-151. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-27641-0
Anderson M (2016) Extending the Renaissance Mind: 'Look What Thy Memory Cannot Contain'. In: Garratt P (ed.) The Cognitive Humanities: Embodied Mind in Literature and Culture. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 95-112. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-59329-0_6