CONFERENCE: The Humanities, the Neurosciences and the Brain

Thursday-Friday, May 12-13, 2016
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

This conference is free and open to the public.  To register to attend, please complete this form.

This interdisciplinary conference will explore the multiple accords, and discords, that characterize humanistic and neuroscientific approaches to the study of the brain.  Gabrielle Starr, author of Feeling Beauty: The Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience, will give the keynote address. Participants will explore creative framings of neuroscientific inquiry through humanistic perspectives, as well as artistic explorations of inner states and mental landscapes.

Sponsored by the IHC series The Humanities and the Brain.

Click here to download conference poster.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

 9:00 AM coffee and pastries

9:15 AM Welcome: Susan Derwin, Director, IHC

9:30 AM Panel 1: Sight and Sound
Chair: Evelyn Rick, Classics, UCSB
Katie Adkison, English, UCSB, “Speaking What We Feel: The Sense of Speech in King Lear”
Chip Badley, English, UCSB, “’If not in the Word, in the Sound’: Sound, Affect, Frederick Douglass”
Cole Cohen, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB, “Merleau-Ponty and Me: The Phenomenology of Neurodiversity”

10:30 AM break

10:45 AM Sight and Sound continued
Phillip Grayson, Literature, St. John’s University, “At The Edge of Evening, Often Forever: Extramission, Consciousness, Literature”
Ery Shin, English, Eureka College, “Imaging the Mind in Literary Contexts”

12:00 PM lunch

 12:45 PM Panel 2: Sociality, Intersubjectivity, Empathy
Chair: Sara Ballance, Music, UCSB
Corinne Bancroft, English, UCSB, “The Face of Friendship in Louise Erdrich’s Fiction”
Ksenia Fedorova, Cultural Studies, UC Davis, “Identity Transactions and Interpersonal Dynamics in Art and Science”
Cheryl Jaworski, English, UCSB, “The Embodied Mind and ‘the Demon of Domesticity’ in Dickens’s Dombey and Son

2:15 PM break

 2:30 PM Panel 3: Theories of Mind, Machines and Mechanical Metaphors
Chair: Rebecca Chenoweth, English, UCSB
Hannes Bend, Quantum Physics Aleman Lab and Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, “Metaverses/Myndful”
Jennifer Duggan, English, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, “The Victorians and the Mechanical Brain”
Melissa M. Littlefield, English and Kinesiology & Community Health, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “Public Displays of Arousal: EEG Wearables and the Fashioning of Instrumental Intimacy”

4:00 PM break

 4:15 PM Panel 4: Altered States and Technology’s Unconscious
Chair: John Thibdeau, Religious Studies, UCSB
Elliott D. Ihm, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UCSB, “Neurocognitive Foundations of Self-Transcendent Experiences:
A Speculative Predictive Coding Account”
Jap-Nanak Makkar, English, University of Virginia, “Libet’s Missing ½ Second, Digital Technology, and Political Critique”
Brianna K. Morseth, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UCSB, “To Forget the Self: Religious, Cultural, and Neuroscientific Dimensions of Ego Death through Contemplative Practice”

5:45 PM reception

 Friday, May 13, 2016

8:30 AM coffee and pastries

 8:45 AM Welcome

 9:00 AM Panel 5: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Historical Influences
Chair: Allison Shapiro, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UCSB
Louis Caron, History and Religious Studies, UCSB, “Some Observations on the History of Neuroscience, and on Thomas Willis,
the First Neurologist”
D.C. McGuire, Neuroscience Researcher, “Neuroscience Offers Humanity’s Second Chance”
Robert Samuels, Writing Program, UCSB, “Damasio’s Error: The Humanities Between Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience”

10:30 AM break

 10:45 AM Keynote Address: Gabrielle Starr, English, New York University, author of Feeling Beauty
“Pleasure and Form: Chasing Imagination”

12:15 PM lunch

 1:00 PM Panel 6: Memory and the Creation of Consciousness
Chair: Rena Heinrich, Theater and Dance, UCSB
Jacob Burg, English, Brandeis University, “Reading Forgetful Minds: The Social Brain in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant
Rebecca Chenoweth, English, UCSB, “Remembering ‘The Best of England’ from the Periphery of War in The Remains of the Day
Sara Pankenier Weld, Germanic & Slavic Studies, UCSB, “The Birth of Consciousness: Andrei Bely’s Modernist Pseudo-Autobiography”

 3:00 PM Closing remarks

 

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