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Current Workshops

African Nostalgias

This workshop explores the influences – historical, technological, and social - that are reshaping African imaginations of the future. It is said that there are now more smart phones than toilets on the African continent. While this radical divergence from paths of imagined development is nonetheless welcomed, many on the continent still await the promised effects of economic and political democratization. Furthermore, “Africa” is typically imagined, both outside and in, as a single entity, with little regard for not only the nuances of city and country, but of colonial influence. In explicitly placing Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone Africa in dialogue, this workshop will interrogate disjunctures between modernity imagined and modernity experienced.

Coodinators

Faculty:

Grant Parker, Jill Rosenthal

Graduate Student:

Jess Auerbach
Meeting Schedule: (click to expand)

Cognition and Language

This workshop encourages interdisciplinary insight among the fields of linguistics, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and computer science to answer questions central to each of these disciplines. Language plays a central role in the coordinated activity that shapes our culture and is crucial to forming abstract thought.  Questions to be considered include: How does language work? How does it interact with the other cognitive processes that shape the human experience?

Coodinators

Faculty:

Hyowon Gweon, Daniel Lassiter

Graduate Student:

Simon Todd
Meeting Schedule: (click to expand)

Claire and John Radway Research Workshop

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Consciousness

Conscious experience is a phenomenon that each of us knows intimately well, yet explaining consciousness has proved to be exquisitely difficult. This workshop explores the nature of conscious experience from a variety of viewpoints that cross boundaries in the humanities and sciences. This year the workshop addresses the “Hard Problem of Consciousness” (aka the problem of qualia), consciousness and literature, consciousness and the brain, and possibly consciousness and quantum mechanics.

Coodinators

Faculty:

John Perry, Paul Skokowski

Graduate Student:

Natalie Deam
Meeting Schedule: (click to expand)

Research Workshop in Honor of John Bender

Oral Literature and Literate Orality

This workshop explores from a multidisciplinary standpoint how oral literature stands alongside and engages with texts in literate societies. While the study of oral literature has transformed many disciplines in the last century, the label of “true” orality was originally granted only to pre-literate traditions. We bring together a variety of perspectives as to how different disciplines have bridged the perceived gap between verbal art and artistic text. To that end, this workshop builds an ongoing conversation on topics such as the transmission and textualization of folk literature, the interplay between spoken word and written text, and the sociology of reading and performance. For more information, visit the workshop’s website.

Coodinators

Faculty:

Richard Martin

Graduate Student:

Sienna Kang
Meeting Schedule: (click to expand)

Techniques of Mediation

This workshop explores how technologies of inscription, mediation, information, and archives create the social world, by examining a wide range of historical and contemporary assemblages of people, machines, and organizations that have shaped complex diagrams of power and of social life. From index cards to databases, from the alphabet to ASCII, and from the abacus to the algorithm, the workshop will explore concrete cases of mediation’s effectivity, and by doing so expand our assessment of mediation to the status of technically - and materially - determinate processes of world-making and knowledge production.

Coodinators

Faculty:

Miyako Inoue, Thomas Mullaney

Graduate Student:

Firat Bozcali
Meeting Schedule: (click to expand)