Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts
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First Myrifield Planning Meeting

Our first planning meeting took place right after the Literature and Science Conference held at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, April 6-9, 2006. The following came to Myrifield, either for an overnight or for the actual meeting:

Bill Benzon, Independent Scholar

Greg Colomb, Professor of the English language and literature and Director of Writing Programs, University of Virginia

Patrick Hogan, Department of English, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Lalita Pandit, Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Clai Rice, Assistant Professor of English, University of Lafayette

Vera Tobin, Arnhold Faculty Fellow in Cognitive Approaches to Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Ideas Presented:

  1. Sponsor publications. Need for a good editorial board, and beginning with prestigious articles. Consider a journal. Several venues possible: electronic web, journals, book or monograph series.
  2. Host small symposia before conferences that would be topic-specific along the tutorial model. Hold intermittent institutes, several throughout the year.
  3. Provide think tank opportunities for experts/specialists.
  4. Provide a retreat for writing, etc. and presentations.
  5. Run seminars for a select number of people working at an advanced level, especially from different research areas.
  6. Support for conference preparation, such as hosting steering committees.
  7. Provide coordination for different groups and facilitate communication among them.
  8. Be a clearing house for collaborations among different research groups.
  9. Look into the possibilities of running NEH Summer Institutes.
  10. Cooperate with local conference centers.
  11. Host small groups wanting to develop and produce focused research interests. (First contacts: Patrick Hogan and the Dartmouth Research Center.)
  12. Interact with poets and writers (Carol Muskie-Dukes mentioned) and others who are creators in their particular field (art and music) and provide workshops. Apparently Charles Keil (Urban Blues: Born to Groove) is interested in opening up to a wider audience.
  13. Contact journal editors to explore what is at the cutting edge of research in their fields.
  14. Start MICA with one single activity.

Funding opportunities include the European Science Foundation, various foundations. Contact the Dartmouth Conference Center for expertise (Alan Richardson mentioned here).

Logistics: start by incorporating as a non-profit in Massachusetts.

First Steps:

  1. Design and establish a host website, with accompanying blog, links to other sites, etc. Include a list of associates when we incoporate (ask who’d like to be listed with links to their sites). Contact Norman Holland for advice from his PsyArt site. (Vera offered to help with the website.)
  2. Start a mailing list of supporters.
  3. Incorporate.
  4. Suggested topic for first event: a small seminar on neuroscience, empirical research, and poetics. Draft a proposal and pass around for comment. David Miall has already suggested a workshop on Literature and Feeling.

Where We Are Today

  • Don and Margaret attended a workshop on establishing non-profits and plan to talk with a lawyer soon on preparing articles of incorporation. We need to settle on a Board of Directors and research issues concerning ownership of physical plant before we can file.
  • We have already been hosting individual scholars for two to three day stays, the Mohawk Trail Concerts Board meetings, performers for the July concerts, and the monthly meeting of the Emily Dickinson Reading Circle.
  • We already have a domain name: Myrifield.org.
 
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P.O. Box 132, 23 Avery Brook Road, Heath, MA 01346-0132
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Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts