CONFERENCE: “On the Beach:” BABEL Working Group Biennial Meeting

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From October 16-18, UC Santa Barbara’s campus hosts the third biennial meeting of the BABEL Working Group. This year, artists, scholars, and other thinkers meet to address the theme “On the Beach: Precariousness, Risk, Forms of Life, Affinity, and Play at the Edge of the World.”  This unconventional meeting invites participants to “comb the beach — not to straighten out, nor even to mine, but to entangle while also pondering.”   The conference is co-sponsored by many departments and initiatives across and beyond UCSB’s campus, including Literature and the Mind.

View the complete program here.

Follow the latest goings-on at the Babel Working Group on their blog here.

Image above via Joni Sternbach, SurfLand

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Beach ball featured in “Chaucer on the Beach” panel


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Graduate Course: Mental States in the Novel– Proust, Woolf, Borges

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Instructor: Dominique Jullien

Course: Comp Lit 200 / French 229F, Fall 2014

In the works of Proust, Woolf, and Borges, depiction of mental states, cognitive processes and emotional experience, seems to anticipate on an intuitive level what modern cognitive science is only beginning to verify as our knowledge of brain function develops. Traditional notions of selfhood are radically uprooted and reframed both in fiction and psychology. Proust’s analysis of habit parallels William James’s; James’s stream of consciousness conception comes alive in Woolf’s late novels; Bergson’s ideas on time and memory find echoes in the Proustian novel of recollection; Mrs. Dalloway offers a metaphorical counterpart to Freud’s trauma theories. At the other end of the century, Borges’s fictions take views of the self and cognitive processes to fantastic extremes. Issues explored in this seminar include: memory & oblivion, the ethics & aesthetics of habit, memory & the fantastic, involuntary & unconscious memory, memory & trauma, metaphor & understanding, epiphanies of the mind, deductive reasoning & detective fiction logic, creativity & everyday experience, stream of consciousness, dream & sleep, individual & collective memory, etc.

In English.  Open to advanced Undergraduates with instructor’s approval.

Mental States 2014 Poster copy