Proposed Seminar: Literature and the Mind
Seminar Moderator: Helen Kapstein
In keeping with the conference theme, Beyond Disciplinarity: Interventions in Cultural Studies and the Arts, the Literature Division of the Cultural Studies Association invites submissions for a seminar on Literature and the Mind.
Recent years have seen a rise of interest in the nexus of the literary and the medical, the scientific, and in particular, the neurobiological. In this seminar, we hope to explore both the intersections of these fields and the current trend towards medicalizing literature. We might do this through works of fiction with particular reference to neurology and the mind, through literary analyses of medical/ scientific texts, or through theorizing about the role of literature itself in our understanding of ourselves, our minds, and our imaginations. Ideally, we will move beyond using text as case study, avoiding pathologizing author and character or reducing literature to a mere by-product of neurological processes, and towards a true interdisciplinarity.
Potential topics include, but are by no means limited to, narrative medicine; hysteria, post-traumatic stress disorder and shell shock; illness and disease; violence and trauma; memory; the body; theory of mind; gender and sexuality; colonial medicine; and the case study. The subject might be approached from the perspective of a specific field of inquiry such as psychology or cognitive science; from a theoretical angle such as postcolonialism or feminism; or be anchored in a specific text or example.
To apply for this seminar, the prospective participant should submit via email a brief (1 pg max.) description of the research project that brings them to these issues. Include contact information with email address, a brief bio, and any requests for audio-visual equipment. Proposals due no later than March 11, 2013.
Send proposal to:
Helen Kapstein, email@example.com
Once accepted for the seminar, participants will be asked to circulate their projects to the other participants and to read the other submissions in advance of the seminar. During the seminar itself, we will aim to theorize out from our individual projects to generate a deeper understanding of these interdisciplinary intersections.
Co-chairs: Helen Kapstein and Mathias Nilges
The Literature Division concerns itself with the juncture of literary and cultural production, placing text in context, and exploring the ways in which literature reflects and shapes its geographical and historical settings. The Division supports literary analysis of texts of all kinds, in the belief that text matters, as it shows us material and imaginative realities.