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Exploring Neuroculture

Exploring Neuroculture

Our Working Group will investigate the powerful new role played by the “neuro” in multiple domains of contemporary life. From our diverse roster of accomplished members to our collaboratively- designed meetings and capstone event, “Exploring Neuroculture: Science, Ethics, Humanities” promises to be a dynamic forum for intellectual exchange between established and junior researchers whose work engages the key concerns of critical neuroscience from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

In 2014, the “neuro” conveys both a prefix and cultural meme with widespread appeal for academics, clinicians, and the laypublic alike. New subfields like neurohumanities, neurolaw, neurohistory, neuroeducation, and neurotheology employ neuroscientific methods to enhance the credibility of truth claims made by humanistic fields of study. In the sciences, neuroimaging is increasingly used as evidence for humanistically-derived questions, such as theory of mind (ToM), often with reference to narrative and literary fiction as examples of the inductive leaps needed to interpret our own inner lives and those of the people around us. Public fascination with phenomena like autism, dementia, and neuroplasticity highlights how other once-dominant cephalic paradigms—the psycho, the cognitive—have been supplanted ever since the 1990s’ “Decade of the Brain.” How valid are the claims made by neurosciences concerning their current and future power as disciplines, and how might the “neuro” it be employed as a tactic of legitimization in both scientific and humanistic fields of study? Under what historical and cultural conditions has our contemporary “neuro” paradigm come to dominate the investigative impulse of not only the human brain but the human condition itself? This largely uncritical embrace of neuroculture raises complex, timely questions ideally suited for investigation by our uniquely interdisciplinary JHI Working Group.

LEADS
Andrea Charise, UTSC Health Sciences
Maureen Coyle, Ph.D. cand., Exercise Science and Kinesiology
Peter Whitehouse, Neurology and Baycrest Hospital

FACULTY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Mark Kingwell, Philosophy
Gillian Einstein, Psychology
Elizabeth Harvey, English
Shelley Wall, UTM Biology
Pat McKeever, Nursing
Allan Peterkin, Psychiatry
Suvendrini Lena
Janelle LeBoutillier, UTSC Psychology
Marcia Sokolowski, Bioethics
Marga Vicedo, History & Philosophy of Science & Technology
Melba Cuddy-Keane, English
Morris Freedman, Neurology
 
FACULTY MEMBERS OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Sholom Glouberman, Baycrest Hospital
Margrit Shildrick, Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden
Suvendrini Lena, CAMH

GRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Lana Kuhle, Philosophy
Allison Crawford, English
Matt Bouchard, Information
Brigidda Bell, Study of Religion

GRADUATE STUDENTS OUTSIDE THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Jamie Smith, Ethics and Social Sciences, University of Guelph


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