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August 2020

Research Focus Group Discussion: The New Human

August 1, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This meeting at the 2020 Cognitive Science Society 2020 conference will explore the ways in which cognitive science is reshaping of key assumptions about the human mind. Literary scholars working on mental phenomena at ‘Literature and Mind’ center at UCSB note that, currently, progress in fields such as data driven machine learning and computer vision is providing unprecedented opportunities for the prospect of human-level artificial intelligence. But, as has been argued in computer science, the computational theory of mind, which claims that mental processes are computational processes, is insufficient to fully account for biologically evolved intelligence. For machine intelligence to take us all the way to human-level intelligence, we need explanations that span multiple levels of organization (neural, somatic, social) that take shape at multiple time-scales (evolution, development, life-long learning). The goal of this group is to provide a virtual

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October 2020

Research Focus Group Meeting: The Future of Humanity from a Sustainability Point of View
Sangwon Suh

October 26, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

REGISTER HERE In this meeting, Professor Sangwon Suh (Bren School) will present research in progress about possible futures of human nature as it relates to selfishness and sustainability. This will be followed by discussion, moderated by Aili Pettersson Peeker. The meeting is open to all but we do ask you to register to attend so that we can spend our time in the meeting as productively as possible. After you've registered, you will receive a Zoom invitation as well as a 1,000-word document introducing the research that we ask that you read before the meeting. Please see the information sheet "Sustainability and the New Human IHC Research Focus Group Meetings" available on our IHC webpage for more information about this and the structure of the meeting. Sangwon Suh is a professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

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January 2021

POSTPONED – Research Focus Group Meeting: Art, Environment, and Sense-Making
Daniel Martini

January 25, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED At the last meeting of the Sustainability and the New Human RFG, Professor Suh discussed sustainability and behavior change. This talk will continue our conversation about the interdependence of humans and the environment by offering an ecological approach to how we understand the arts. At this meeting, PhD candidate Daniel Martini will share his dissertation research on how aesthetic appreciation (‘sense-making’) can emerge from both the rigidity of universal human cognitive structures and the massive influence of environmental variations. The presentation will be followed by a discussion moderated by Professor Colin Gardner. The meeting is open to all but we do ask you to register to attend so that we can spend our time in the meeting as productively as possible. Please register by January 21. After you’ve registered, you will receive a Zoom invitation

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February 2021

Research Focus Group Talk: Elemental City: Ecology, Media and Narratives of Crisis in Postcolonial Calcutta
Somak Mukherjee

February 22, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This talk explores how the cultural politics of elemental media influence crisis narratives produced in relation to urban change. Taking Calcutta as a case study, Doctoral Candidate Somak Mukherjee argues that the crisis of postcolonial cities has a distinct ecological imaginary, borne of tension between mediated pairings of elements and more typical civic imaginaries such as civility, citizenship, community, development, or progress. Four examples of elements—earth, air, water, and fire—are used as representative figures to explore how their cultural registers comment on questions of method, archives, and media in thinking about urban space. The presentation will be followed by a discussion moderated by Surojit Kayal. The meeting is open to all but we do ask you to register to attend so that we can spend our time in the meeting as productively as possible. Please register by February 18. After you’ve registered,

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April 2021

Research Focus Group Meeting: Embracing Ecological Uncertainty through Narrative
Marco Caracciolo

April 19, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Uncertainty is a central psychological dimension of the ecological crisis. The science of climate change brings into view widely divergent scenarios; the discrepancy between these more or less catastrophic visions of the future undermines our ontological security (in Anthony Giddens’s terminology). Dr. Caracciolo argues that literary narrative has an important role to play in cultivating readers’ ability to live with uncertainty. He describes this process as a shift from a primarily negative understanding of uncertainty (as something to be avoided at all costs) to a more complex, nuanced appreciation. The presentation will be followed by a discussion moderated by Professor Sowon Park. The meeting is open to all but we do ask you to register to attend so that we can spend our time in the meeting as productively as possible. Please register by April 15. After you’ve registered, you will receive

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