[Neuroscience] Conference on Neuroscience and the Humanities

John Hunter via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by jchunter At bucknell.edu)
Fri Nov 10 09:53:13 EST 2006

To the BIOSCI Neuroscience Newsgroup:

         My name is John Hunter and my colleagues 
in neuroscience and I are organizing a conference 
here at Bucknell on neuroscience and the 
humanities.  It will take place next April 20-21.
         I have attached the call for papers as a 
word file and included it below. I think it would 
be of interest to many subscribers to the 
neuroscience newsgroup and we would be grateful 
if you could post this information on the newsgroup.
         Please do not hesitate to contact me if 
I can answer any questions or be of any further assistance.

Yours truly,

         John Hunter

 From the Brain to Human Culture: Intersections 
between the Humanities and Neuroscience

An interdisciplinary conference sponsored by the 
Comparative Humanities Program at Bucknell University to be held at

Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA, USA
April 20-21, 2007
Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Prof. Andy Clark,
Dept. of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh

Prof. Michael Gazzaniga
Dept. of Psychology, University of California at Santa Barbara

Papers (20 minutes) and/or panels (maximum of 
four speakers) are solicited for an 
interdisciplinary conference examining the 
intersections between recent work in the 
humanities and neurosciences. In the past decade, 
the various branches of neuroscience (as well as 
linguistics, sociobiology and other fields) have 
begun to take up the ethical, artistic and 
behavioral questions that were previously thought 
to be the province of scholars in the humanities 
and to challenge the centrality of learned human 
behavior in these and other areas. Scholars such 
as Simon Baron-Cohen, Marc Hauser, and Steven 
Pinker (among many others) have begun to provide 
scientific accounts of ethical phenomena and 
neuroscientific research has coined new 
subdisciplinary fields such as “neuroethics,” and 
“neuroaesthetics.” Scholars in the humanities, in 
their turn, have begun to produce 
critical-philosophical accounts of the claims of 
these scholars and new work on subjects such 
extended consciousness, artificial intelligence, 
robotics, and the effects of digital culture on 
human subjectivity and cultural production. The 
purpose of this conference will be to explore the 
status of this important debate at the present time
We especially encourage papers that cross 
conventional disciplinary lines and/or that 
directly address the scholarly, institutional, 
and practical consequences of the ways in which 
the humanities and sciences are interacting at 
present. Papers from across the whole range of 
both the humanities (art, religion, literature, 
philosophy, film studies, history, languages, 
etc.) and neuroscience and its related fields 
(psychology, cognitive science, physiology, 
animal behavior, organismal and evolutionary biology, etc.) are welcome.
Given the interdisciplinary nature of the panels 
and audience, we ask that potential presenters be 
aware that they will not just be addressing 
specialists in their field. Selected papers from 
the conference will be considered for publication 
in an edited book in the Aperçus: Histories Texts 
Cultures series from Bucknell University Press.

Among the possible themes for papers and panels are:

- can new disciplines like "neuroethics" work 
alongside traditional humanistic modes of enquiry 
or is conflict between the two inevitable?

- what have the humanities done to respond to 
these new developments in the sciences?

- what new configurations of the relationship 
between the sciences and the humanities could be 
made possible by this new work?

- how are questions of culture (human activity in 
the world) being related to the activities of the 
mind and brain in new and productive ways? And vice versa?

- how does neuroscientific study affect the way 
we understand the reception of books, films, and digital media?

- how are “rationality” and “emotion” seen as 
part of human decision making process by humanists and neuroscientists?

- how has recent research in evolutionary biology 
and psychology affected our perceptions of cultural productions?

Please send a 500-word abstract and CV as an email attachment to:

Prof. John Hunter
Comparative Humanities Program
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA 17837
<mailto:jchunter At bucknell.edu>jchunter At bucknell.edu

Submissions via regular mail will be accepted if 
necessary. Comments and inquiries to the above address are welcome.

DEADLINE:    December 15th, 2006.


Professor John 
Hunter                           "We know how to 
speak many lies that sound like truths
Program in Comparative 
Humanities               But we know when to 
speak truths when we wish to"
University                                             Hesiod, Theogony 27-28.
Lewisburg, PA  17837
Phone: 570/577-1549
Fax: 570/577-3110
Email: jchunter At bucknell.edu  

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