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Modernism and the Mind Sciences

Modernism grew up alongside a range of revolutionary mind sciences. While modernism’s engagements with what Nikolas Rose and Joelle Abi-Rached term the “psy disciplines”—including psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry—have captivated literary critics for decades, recent critical inquiry has demonstrated how modernist texts inform or push against contemporary theories of cognition, including embodied and extended cognition. These approaches suggest that modernism’s interest in subjectivity continues to inform and/or resist current scientific approaches to the mind. This panel explores the (often competing) theories of mind, brain, and self in modernist texts through the lens of modernism’s (often ambivalent) relationship to the mind sciences of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The papers on this panel seek to address the following questions: How do modernist texts respond to scientific claims about the self? How do modernist texts incorporate, revise, or challenge the principles of specific mind sciences? What theories of cognition do modernist texts propose? And what values about the human are implied by modernism’s fascination with cognitive processes? This panel welcomes papers on literature, the visual and performing arts, and literary theory and philosophy. Of particular interest are papers that attend to cognitive or neurological disabilities in relation to (pseudo-)sciences of the mind.

Please send a 250-word abstract and brief professional bio (2-3 sentences) to Rebecah Pulsifer at pulsife2@illinois.edu by April 10.



Conference Location: Boston, USA
Conference Starts: November 19, 2015
Conference Ends: November 22, 2015

CFP Submission Deadline: April 10, 2015

For more information, contact: Rebecah Pulsifer

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