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Humanities Institute to Host Interdisciplinary Conference
Two-day conference to explore Memory, Emotion and the Disciplines

STONY BROOK, NY, March 15, 2012 – The Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University is hosting “Memory, Emotion and the Disciplines,” an interdisciplinary conference on the subject of memory and emotion. The event is focused on bringing together scholars from various disciplines that have studied memory and emotion separately, but have just begun to see the inevitable interaction between these two aspects of human biology and culture. The conference takes place on March 22 and 23, from 9 am to 6 pm in the Humanities Building, beginning in Room 1009. Please click here for conference schedule times and locations.

Memory, Emotion and the Disciplines will focus on the interrelationship between memory and emotion.

“Memory, Emotion and the Disciplines” is part of the “Memory in the Disciplines” initiative - a wider project that is positioning Stony Brook University at the forefront of the emerging interdisciplinary field of Memory Studies. “The goal of the conference is to change disciplinary habits by bringing scholars together from different fields to work jointly on memory and emotions,” said E. Ann Kaplan, Director of the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook and event co-organizer. “It will help us recognize the differences in methodology, expectations for scholarship, desired results and the implementation of interdisciplinary research.” Some of the various disciplines include experimental and cognitive psychology, neuroscience, literary and media studies, sociology, history, philosophy and the arts.

“The arts and humanities are experiencing a cognitive turn, as scholars and students are looking to the sciences for models and approaches to cognition to understand creativity and the nature of human relations,” said John Lutterbie of the Center of Cognitive Science and Performance at Stony Brook University, and event co-organizer. “This conference explores these ideas on an individual as well as a social level.”

Keynote speakers include Dr. Jeffery Olick of the University of Virginia and Dr. Lisa B. Thompson of SUNY Albany. On Thursday, March 22 at 4:15 pm, Dr. Olick will speak on “What is Memory Studies? Intellectual and Institutional Conditions for Interdisciplinarity,” a discussion co-sponsored by the Stony Brook University Office of the Provost. On March 23 at 11:45 am, Dr. Thompson will speak on the subject of black cultural trauma in contemporary African-American theater. Both addresses will be held in Room 1006 of the Humanities Building.

The conference also features a theatrical performance of Vanya on March 22 at 6:30 pm in Room 1008 of the Humanities Institute. Vanya is a new play written and directed by Mallory Catlett that explores the characters of the Russian masterpiece Uncle Vanya 20 years after Anton Chekhov’s play ends. The characters reunite only to find that they are dealing with aging and memory failure.  The actors will present scenes from the play and invite conference participants to engage with the issues raised in this exciting new work.

Sponsors of the event include the SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines program, the Center for Cognitive Science and Performance, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Memory in the Disciplines initiative, the Department of Theatre Arts, the Office of the Provost, and the Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS) program at Stony Brook University.

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About the Humanities Institute
The Humanities Institute at Stony Brook was established in 1987 to promote interdisciplinary research across the University. Through conferences, distinguished lecture series, faculty and student seminars, exhibitions, film series and performances, the Humanities Institute has stimulated new kinds of knowledge at the cutting edge of intellectual life. 


© Stony Brook University 2012