IAS Annual Report 2014-15 - page 11

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Katherine Hayles
Nonconscious Cognition and Jess Stoner’s ‘I Have Blinded Myself Writing This’
– Insights Volume 9
The Experience of Emergence. The main objective of
this highly interdisciplinary programme of events which
included seven public lectures and nine workshops was to
establish and explore the significance of the phenomenon
of emergence in the horizon of the Arts and Humanities and
the Social Sciences. Led by Professor
Nicholas Saul
(School
of Modern Languages and Cultures) with many contributions
from Durham colleagues, as well as esteemed scholars
including Professor
Bernard Stiegler
and IAS Fellow Professor
Katherine Hayles
(Duke University) and COFUND Fellow
Professor
Gerhard Lauer
(University of Goettingen), this theme
sought to build on the achievements of the IAS supported
Leverhulme-funded and IAS supported
Tipping Points
project,
and attempted to theorise the phenomenon of emergence in
consciousness in specific fields, from evolution and primeval
culture, to literature to social media to social action, and
evaluating the gains (or losses, or problems)
which appeared when the concept was applied.
According to Saul, the overall general conclusion to the
programme was that ‘emergence – whilst not uncontroversial
is
a valid category for the description, analysis,
interpretation and evaluation of otherwise inexplicable or
simply unrecognised phenomena in the subject domains of
Humanities and Social Sciences.’
A highlight of the programme included a podium discussion,
‘Digital Studies: the emergence of a paradigm for the
humanities’ with IAS Fellow Katherine Hayles and Bernard
Stiegler, two pioneers of the idea that the humanities,
and the university in general, must be reinvented around
the study of technology. Katherine Hayles contributed
additionally to the sub-theme by giving a lecture,
‘The
Emergence of Nonconscious Cognition.’
This broad programme led also to very productive
collaborations with the Centre for Medical Humanities,
the Centre for Humanities Innovation, and the Institute of
Hazard, Risk and Resilience.
Emergent Experience
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