March 6-8, 2003

Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas

 Featured Speakers:

Katherine Hayles
Nancy Kress


        Where's your head at? Cultural critics, philosophers, and scientists have often sought to explain human intelligence and the emotions. Theorists have offered provisional definitions of such basic emotions as shame and love; scientists and philosophers have offered new theories to explain or "map" thought and feeling in the brain, often through evolutionary models. In all of this work, the brain is either included in a wider cultural imaginary or contrasted with it.

        For the 12th Annual Cultural Studies Symposium at Kansas State University, we invite papers that consider how intelligence, reason, and/or emotion have been located within a cultural imaginary. Specifically, how have these capacities been located in brains or some other material object (such as the humours, or computers)? How have brains themselves become cultural representations of these capacities, and more? Papers of any disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and historical periods are welcome, as well as unconventional formats or methods.

Potential Topics

  • Historical transformations of affect
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Pop culture brains
  • The linguistic turn vs. the new positivism
  • "Structures of Feeling"
  • Cognitive theories of the emotions
  • Sentiment and sympathy
  • Phrenology and galvanism
  • Rationalism vs. empiricism
  • Behavioralist approaches to psychology and the brain
  • Freudian and post-Freudian brains
  • Sociobiology, altruism and emotion
  • The Memento Mori and other mystical traditions
  • Medical philosophies of Galen and other pre-moderns
  • Philosophy of mind
Michele Janette, Director
Cultural Studies Program
English Department
106 Denison Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-0701.
Email: send to

Some previous conferences: Property, Commodity, Culture (1997) | Violence, Incorporated (1998) | Real Culture, Reproduction(s), and Rip-Offs (1999) | Who Counts? (2000) | Family, Kinship & Cultural Studies (2001) | Late Modern Planet (2002).


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