Special Graduate Colloquium : Workshop on Cognition and Media Theory

Course Number: ENGL 595CM
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 595AA-ZZ
Quarter: Winter 2013
Day(s): T
Time: 4:00 - 4:50 PM
Location: SH 2714

Graduate level research colloquia in various areas of study.
Our colloquium will seek connections (or disconnections) between work in cognitive studies and media theory. Theories of cognition generally concern themselves with how the brain or mind functions, and those functions require (or arise from) two or more systems touching and irritating one another (e.g., a body and its environment). Media theory, perhaps not coincidently, focuses on the transmission and encoding of information between technical artifacts, among which, some argue, we should count the human body. Can we adequately explain this overlap historically as the legacy of cognitive studies' and media theory's common origin (such as in cybernetics and AI research)? How have the points of contact between these fields changed as artificial intelligence research has evolved and distributed theories of mind have taken over? What if we factor in theories of embodied cognition such as those of Evan Thompson and Katherine Hayles?

Readings will reflect the group's collective interests but works (selections thereof) I currently have in mind include: Wiener's * Cybernetics;* Shannon's *Mathematical Theory of Information;* Walter Ong's *Orality and Literacy;* Kittler's *Gramophone, Film, Typewriter;* Vilém Flusser's *Into the Universe of Technical Images;* Daniel Dennett's *Consciousness Explained;* Andrew Pickering's *The Cybernetic Brain;* and Katherine Hayles' *How We Think.*