CFP: Network for Neuro-Cultures Graduate Conference

Call for Papers, INTERSECT: Network for Neuro-Cultures Graduate Conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, February 21-23, 2014

Theme: Neural Initiatives: Neuropolitics, Technoscience, and the Dynamic Brain

Keynote Speaker: Jenell Johnson, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts & Director of the Disability Studies Initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Description: In April 2013, President Obama announced the launch of the BRAIN Initiative as part of his administration’s commitment to supporting and encouraging groundbreaking projects in science and technology. Likened to the Human Genome Project, the BRAIN Initiative seeks to accelerate the “development and application of innovative technologies” so that “researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space” ( ). The hope is that mapping out the entire activity of the human brain will inspire new understandings of complex neural processes, such as decision making and information processing and storage, as well as new methods for treating, curing, and preventing brain disease.

This large-scale initiative to develop new technologies for investigating how the brain changes and functions raises critical questions about agency, embodiment, gender, disability, bioethics and biopolitics, and other issues concerning identity and selfhood that are core areas of inquiry for the sciences and humanities alike. What are the sociopolitical, economic, technoscientific, and biochemical forces motivating studies, representations, and enactments of neural processes? In what ways can we historically situate the BRAIN Initiative in relation to past projects that have revolutionized popular and scientific discourses on brain dynamics? How can we reimagine and reconfigure the communities and tools that are granted access to the study of brain dynamics such that it remains a fruitful epistemological endeavor but expands its ethical, cultural, and historical consciousness?

Presentation topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •  – Neuroplasticity and Neurodynamics
  •  – (Epi)Genetics
  •  – Cognitive Disability, Mental Illness, and Neuropharmaceuticals
  •  – Memory, Perception, and Information Processing
  •  – Affect and Emotion
  •  – Agency, Free Will, and Determinism
  •  – Neurotechnologies and Technoscience
  •  – The Neurodisciplines (e.g., neurotheology, neuroethics, neuropolitics, neuroeconomics)
  •  – Transdisciplinary Research Designs

We will be accepting submissions for individual papers, pre-formed panels, roundtables, posters, and alternative presentation formats. For individual paper or poster contributions, submit a 250-500 word abstract with title. For pre-formed panels, roundtables, or alternative presentation formats, please submit individual abstracts as well as a summary paragraph. Send all submissions to  by October 15, 2013. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent out on November 15, 2013. For more information, visit our website at: