CFP: Humanities and Neuroscience (12/15/06; 4/20/06-4/21/06)

full name / name of organization: 
John Hunter
contact email: 

 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
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 and/or panels 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

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

DEADLINE: December 15th, 2006.

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Received on Mon Oct 09 2006 - 11:48:20 EDT