Neuroculture

The articles here by Kim CunninghamVictoria Pitts-TaylorJesse PrinzDeboleena Roy, and Alyson Spurgas are collectively the outcome of an experiment we undertook with a broader group of faculty and graduate students at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. This experiment, called NeuroCulture, was a year-long seminar and lecture series during which we tried to forge critical interdisciplinary engagements with neuroscience. The idea was that neuroscience is an enormously influential discourse in our current historical moment. It is both hugely popularized, in the sense that one finds references to brain science everywhere nowadays, and also highly technical, full of difficult jargon, and hard for outsiders to understand. We found that the challenges in creating interdisciplinary exchange about neuroscience are numerous. Among us were technophiles and neuroskeptics, empiricists and social constructionists, those who believe that science can be made better and those who reject its basic assumptions about objectivity and the material world in the first place. Our aim, fortunately, was not consensus. Instead we sought to proliferate thought in multiple directions, and on that score we succeeded.

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Neurocultural Feedback Loops The senses (... depicted by examples of vision, balance, smell, touch, taste and hearing) provide an interface between the external world and its internal representation in our minds. — Vosshall and Carandini, (2009, Current Opinion in Neurobiology)   Free will is not something that's spontan...
A Wilder Sort of Empiricism: Madness, Visions and Speculative Life   I have a relative who, after spending his twenties as a member of the Black Panther Party, fifteen years in hiding and some time in jail, then spent several years in nightly trances, channeling prophecy. His audio visions were primarily direct messages from a Native North American chief who ...
Should We Be Triggered? NeuroGovernance in the Future/(Tense) In 2009, a team of psychotherapists sent by a humanitarian aid organization rushed to Honduras to treat survivors traumatized by the geopolitical crisis of a military coup and the resulting violence (Jarero, et al 2010). The targets of their war on trauma were in the brain — the neural networks whic...
Mayberry R.F.D. Will Not Be Presented Tonight   In the month of January, 1970, the New York Times published an article, "Statisticians Charge Draft Lottery Was Not Random." The lottery to which they were referring, of course, was the "life and death" lottery that selected the "bodies of the condemned" — the young men in the United States...

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