Michigan State University

Breaking Neuro Ground: Literary Neuroscience and the Benefits of Interdisciplinarity

In 1959, C.P. Snow famously described the humanities and sciences as “two cultures” separated by a “gap” of “mutual incomprehension.” But in 2018, is this still true? Or, is it possible now to truly bridge these two cultures in a way that is both reciprocal and groundbreaking in each? Join Dr. Phillips (and student researchers) as she traces points of connection, conflict and inspiration in three ongoing research projects at the Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab (DHLC). Reflecting on lessons learned from three interdisciplinary projects—on the neuroscience of novel reading, the pleasures of poetry, and the stories we hear in music—she  explores the methodological power and productive dissonance of integrating cognitive studies and traditional humanistic inquiry. Ultimately, the presentation will emphasize how interdisciplinarity works on the ground, the pedagogical benefits of hands-on collaborative research, and how to prioritize humanities in a STEM focused world.

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