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Message posted on 06/02/2019

IX Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture | Neurohumanities: Promises & Threats

IX Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture


Promises & Threats

Lisbon, July 1-6, 2019


Deadline for submissions: February 28, 2019

When the US government declared the 1990s “The decade of the brain”, it
aimed at raising public awareness toward the use of neuroscience for the
enhancement of life quality and as a way to better address the challenges
of growing life expectancy. The initiative was further supported by
substantial research funding, which not only impressed public opinion but
appealed to many research fields. Finding a link to brain research and the
processes of the human mind, many disciplines were repositioned and adopted
the “neuro” prefix, promising new insights into age-old problems by
reframing them from the angle of the brain-mind continuum.

Neuroscience seeks to explain how the brain works and which
neurophysiological processes are involved in complex cognitive abilities
like sensation and perception attention and reasoning, memory and thought.

One of the most striking and unique features of the human mind is its
capacity to represent realities that transcend its immediate time and
space, by engaging complex symbolic systems, most notably language, music,
arts and mathematics. Such sophisticated means for representation are
arguably the result of an environmental pressure and must be accounted for
in a complex network of shared behaviors, mimetic actions and collaborative
practices: in other words, through human culture. The cultural products
that are enabled by these systems are also stored by means of
representation in ever-new technological devices, which allow for the
accumulation and sharing of knowledge beyond space and across time.

The artifacts and practices that arise from the symbolic use, exchange and
accumulation are the core of the research and academic field known as the
Humanities. The field has been increasingly interested in the latest
developments deriving from neuroscience and the affordances they allow
about the conditions and processes of the single brain, embedded in an
environment, in permanent exchange with other brains in an ecology that is
culturally coded.

This turn of the humanities to neuroscience is embraced by many and
fiercely criticized by others. The promise of the Neurohumanities, the
neuroscientifically informed study of cultural artifacts, discourses and
practices, lies in unveiling the link between embodied processes and the
sophistication of culture. And it has the somewhat hidden agenda of
legitimizing the field, by giving it a science-close status of relevance
and social acknowledgement it has long lacked. Here, though, lies also its
weakness: should the Humanities become scientific? Can they afford to do
so? Should they be reduced to experimental methodologies, collaborative
research practices, sloppy concept travelling, transvestite
interdisciplinarity? Is the promise of the Neurohumanities, seen by some as
the ultimate overcoming of the science-humanities or the two cultures
divide, in fact not only ontologically and methodologically impossible and
more than that undesirable? And how will fields like Neuroaesthetics,
Cognitive Literary Theory, Cognitive Linguistics, Affect Theory,
Second-person Neuroscience, Cognitive Culture Studies or Critical
Neuroscience relate to the emerging omnipresence and challenges of
Artificial Intelligence?

The IX Summer School for the Study of Culture invites participants to
submit paper and poster proposals that critically consider the developments
of the Neurohumanities in the past decades and question its immediate and
future challenges and opportunities. Paper proposals are encouraged in but
not limited to the following topics:

· 4E Cognition: embodied, embedded, enacted and extended

· performance and the embodied mind

· spectatorship and simulation

· from individual to social cognition

· mental imagery

· empathy

· memory, culture and cultural memory

· cognition and translatability

· mind-body problem

· life enhancement

· neuro-power

· (neuro)humanities and social change

· AI, cognition and culture

The Summer School will take place at several cultural institutions in
Lisbon and will gather outstanding doctoral students and post-doctoral
researchers from around the world. In the morning there will be lectures
and master classes by invited keynote speakers. In the afternoon there will
be paper presentations by doctoral students.

Paper proposals

Proposals should be sent to no later than February
28, 2019 and include paper title, abstract in English (max. 200 words),
name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation and a brief bio (max. 100
words) mentioning ongoing research.

Applicants will be informed of the result of their submissions by March 15,

Rules for presentation

The organizing committee shall place presenters in small groups according
to the research focus of their papers. They are advised to stay in these
groups for the duration of the Summer School, so a structured exchange of
ideas may be developed to its full potential.

Full papers submission

Presenters are required to send in full papers by May 30, 2019.

The papers will then be circulated amongst the members of each research
group and in the slot allotted to each participant (30’), only 10’ may be
used for a brief summary of the research piece. The Summer School is a
place of networked exchange of ideas and organizers wish to have as much
time as possible for a structured discussion between participants. Ideally,
in each slot, 10’ will be used for presentation, and 20’ for discussion.

Registration fees

Participants with paper – 290€ for the entire week (includes lectures,
master classes, doctoral sessions, lunches and closing dinner)

Participants without paper – 60€ per session/day | 190€ for the entire

Fee waivers

For The Lisbon Consortium students, there is no registration fee.

For students from Universities affiliated with the European Summer School
in Cultural Studies and members of the Excellence Network in Cultural
Studies the registration fee is 60€.

Organizing Committee

· Isabel Capeloa Gil

· Peter Hanenberg

· Alexandra Lopes

· Paulo de Campos Pinto

· Diana Gonçalves

· Clara Caldeira

· Rita Bacelar

Organizing Committee
Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture
Neurohumanities: Promises and Threats

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