Sydney, Mon/Tues October 18-19, 2010
Coogee Legion Club (
200 Arden St, Coogee – opposite the beach)
MMM-CCC Workshop Aims
This two-day workshop brings together researchers working in the borderlands between the sciences of mind, the broader social sciences, and the humanities. We all seek to build on the firm strengths of our distinctive disciplines by finding and immersing ourselves in relevant neighbouring projects, or adapting mixed methods and traveling concepts. In the study of mind, self, and agency, many of us share the urge to find rich middle-grounds between the narrower individualist traditions of some of our disciplines, and radically anti-scientific constructivisms. We explore more exuberant forms of materialism, whether through neuroanthropology, cognitive history, social ontology, cultural psychology, choreographic cognition, a phenomenology of material culture, distributed cognition, or simply by gradually opening up more traditional cognitive methods, step by step, to the complexities of remembering in the wild. Some of us have been working together for a while, learning the worlds and languages and research styles of our colleagues in those other buildings. Now by bringing in some new voices to our conversations and coming together to share projects and approaches in an open, fun, and modest environment, we hope to spark new joint lines of thought and practice, and to learn and devise new ways to mix experiment and ethnography, or to write better experience-near analysis.
We all see cognition and memory as deeply situated in complex and structured worlds of culture and media, and as both developed and expressed in many distinctive forms of collaborative activity and in skilful movement. Alongside a pervasive enquiry into the challenges and prospects for engagement between cognitive theory and the humanities, we use the following two broad and overlapping core topics to structure and initiate our discussions.
1. The boundaries and disunity of the interdisciplinary field of memory studies: in particular, we address interactions of social and individual remembering; collaborative processes in recall; and the methodological challenges of studying the highly diverse resources – neural, affective, bodily, material, social, technological, ecological, and more – on which people and small groups draw in their complex, situated practices and activities of remembering.
2. The roles of memory, experience, and attention in the acquisition and performance of skilled movement activities, such as dance, music, theatre, sport, and yoga, and in historical cases of apprenticeship and skill development. In particular, we enquire again into the nature and dynamics of embodied knowhow, and ask how practitioners in collaborative, often improvisational contexts influence their practised actions on the fly, and how nudges or control can ever assist (rather than disrupt) performance as skilled actors genuinely think on their feet.
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