Worlding the Brain

Date: Wednesday 12th October 2017, and 2-4 November 2017
Time: 15:30-17.00 pm (12-10), and 2-4 November (several times)
Location: BG1 1.14
Organizer: Patricia Pisters & Stephan Besser
Register: contact Eloe Kingma at (be sure to specify your home institution and programme)

On 2-4 November the international conference Worlding the Brain will take place. The second in a series of multi-disciplinary encounters of science, art and the humanities, this iteration will be on the themes of Affect, Care and Engagement. In conjunction to this conference, NICA is inviting students to engage with the conference themes through the works of its keynote speakers, resulting in a final paper on the subject matter.

The conference is intended to explore the ‘worlding’ of the brain, i.e. the mutual influence of the extra-cerebral world on the brain and the brain on the world. Such ‘worldings’ occur when we place the brain in worldly contexts, study its interaction with various environments and reflect upon its entanglements with cultural practices and processes. Based on a recognition of the ‘neuro-turn’ in various disciplines, we aim to extend and deepen the dialogue between the different fields of knowledge in art, humanities and science that investigate and perform such interactions.

The themes of affect, care and engagement indicate that the bidirectional interaction between world and brain is never neutral but always mediated by concerns, interests and emotions in different ways. With ‘affect’ we think of both the current political and cultural climate (of anger, fear, resentment and hope) and the prevalence of medical and psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders in society today. With ‘care’ we want to address the caring for the self and others in our daily lives and health care, taking into account the underlying socio-political imperatives of self-fashioning and well-being. With ‘engagement’ we aim to explore both the interconnections between brain, body and our sensory environment and the socio-political implications of these relations for personal and collective agency today.

The symposium is organized by the ASCA Research Group Neuroaesthetics and Neurocultures at the University of Amsterdam. The group is dedicated to the critical and productive study of the rise of the neuro-turn from a humanities perspective.

For this program a student can earn 3 ECTS. The workload consist of:

-Attending and doing the readings for the upcoming Neuroaesthetics and Neurocultures reading group: Oct 12, 15:30-17:30 (at room 1.14, UvA Media studies building, BG 1, Turfdraagsterpad 9)

-Attending the conference, in particular the keynotes: Nov 2-4.

-A written paper of max 2500 words.

For more info see: , or contact