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The Urban Brain: Living in the neurosocial city
Wed. 15 March 2017, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm AEDT
Speaker: Professor Nikolas Rose - Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Kings College London
In this talk I will argue that we should rethink the experience of living in the city in the light of recent developments in the sciences of life. We now know a great deal about the corporeal and cerebral impacts of the varieties of forms of life that we call ‘urban’. I will argue that social scientists need to work with researchers in the life sciences to understand how urban experience, and urban adversity 'gets under the skin' and shapes the bodies and brains of urban citizens and denizens.
I will discuss the idea of ‘the neurosocial city,’ that I have developed with Des Fitzgerald. This concept aims to grasp the ways that the forms of life in the conglomerations we call cities are simultaneously lived and transacted through the living bodies and brains of ‘each and of all’ – the individuals and the multitudes who inhabit urban space. I will outline the argument that my colleagues and I are developing in our current research on the mental consequences of migration into megacities, and draw out the implications, on the one hand for our understanding of the vital lives of cities, and on the other, for the relations between the social sciences and the life sciences today.
Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Kings College London which he founded in 2012. He was previously Martin White Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Director of the LSE's BIOS Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society, which he founded in 2003.
He is founder and co-editor of BioSocieties: an interdisciplinary journal for social studies of the life sciences and is a long-time editor of Economy and Society. His most recent books include The Politics of Life Itself : Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century (2007); Governing The Present (written with Peter Miller, 2008) and Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (written with Joelle Abi-Rached, 2013). He is currently seeking to build new relations between the social sciences and the life sciences, partly through research on mental health, migration and megacities; arising from this, The Urban Brain: Living in the Neurosocial City (with Des Fitzgerald) will be published by Princeton University Press in 2018. He is also currently completing a long overdue book on Our Psychiatric Future? to be published by Polity Press in 2018.