Plasticity and Pathology: A Workshop – UC Berkeley, Rhetoric Department – April 11 & 12, 2014

Plasticity and Pathology: History and Theory of Neural Subjects

Organized by David Bates and Nima Bassiri

Friday, April 11

1.00 pm Welcome from Workshop Organizers (David Bates and Nima Bassiri)

1.15 – 3.15 pm Session One

Laura Salisbury (English, Exeter)
TBA [On narrative and neural subjects in Luria]

Nima Bassiri (ACLS Fellow, Literature and Neuroscience, Duke)
“Epileptic Insanity and Personal Identity: Hughlings Jackson and the Formations of Neural Personhood”

3.15 – 3.30 pm Coffee Break

3.30 – 5.30 pm Session Two

Cathy Gere (History and STS, UC San Diego)
“Plasticity, Pathology and Pleasure in Cold War America”

Tobias Rees (Anthropology, McGill)
“Once Cell Death, now Cell Life”

5.30 – 6.30 pm Public Reception

Saturday, April 12

10.00 am – noon Session Three

Stefanos Geroulanos (History, NYU)
“Integrations, Vigilance, and Catastrophe: Henry Head and Kurt Goldstein” (paper co-written with Todd Meyers)

David Bates (Rhetoric and New Media, UC Berkeley)
“Automaticity and Plasticity: An Alternative History of Artificial Intelligence”

Noon – 1.00 pm Lunch Break

1.00 – 2.00 pm Session Four

Emily Martin (Anthropology, NYU)
Field Notes on Brain Study – a presentation (no pre-circulated paper)

2.15 – 4.15 pm Session Five

Joe Dumit (Anthropology and STS, UC Davis)
“Plastic Neuroscience: Studying What the Brain Cares About”

Katja Guenther (History, Princeton)
“Shaping the Body in the Brain: Mirrors and The Treatment of Phantom Limbs”

4.30 – 5.30 pm Session Six

Catherine Malabou (Philosophy, Kingston)
“From Sorrow to Indifference: Political Subjectivity and the Emotional Brain”

*** For access to precirculated papers (after April 1) please contact: David Bates (



Image credit: Anonymous, Shiva Linga; Bikaner, Rajasthan, 2002 (Feature Inc., Gallery)