Social sciences and the self in the age of the brain masterclass

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Professor Nikolas Rose (Kings College London) is coming to the ANU's Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) to provide a day-long HDR/ECR masterclass on 'Social sciences and the self in the age of the brain' (an overview of the masterclass thematic is provided below). This interactive event will feature Professor Rose discussing selected works relating to the topic, but also offering constructive feedback on the research programs of the masterclass participants who will be given the opportunity to present their current work. Full catering will be provided for the participants. We seek expressions of interest (EOI) from HDR students and ECR colleagues (up to Level C) wishing to participate in this exciting event. EOIs should be accompanied with:

- a 200 word statement detailing why you would like to participate at this event
- a title and 150 word synopsis of your presentation topic (presenters will be allocated 15minutes)
- a 2 page CV.

EOIs for the masterclass must be sent to Dr Gavin Smith ( before 12pm on Monday 6th March 2017. Please note that we are unable to accept any EOIs after this time.

How should social scientists analyze self, person and subjectification at a time when the language, explanations and expertise of brain science is on the rise? There is, of course, no single answer to this question. In this ‘masterclass’ we will approach it along a number of dimensions.

First, we will explore an approach to subjectivity, not as a substantive interior zone of selfhood, but in terms of ‘the relation to the self’ – an approach which enables us to examine historical and cultural changes without commitment to any particular theory of the self. Reading for this is N. Rose, 1996, Inventing Our Selves, CUP, especially Chapters 1 and 8 (Rose 1996) .

Second, we will examine the emergence and consequences of the birth of the psychological self, from this perspective. This is set out in great detail in Governing the Soul, Routledge, 1989, especially Part 4 (Rose 1990). There are also some substantive studies in Governing the Present, Polity, 2008, especially Chapter 5, Mobilizing the Consumer (Miller and Rose 1997) and Chapter 6, On Therapeutic Authority (Miller and Rose 1994).

Third, we will ask whether this deep psychological self is mutating in ‘the age of the brain’, with the emergence of new ways of thinking about and acting upon ourselves under new forms of authority. Reading is N. Rose, Neurochemical Selves, in The Politics of Life Itself, Princeton, 2007, Chapter 7 (a version is published as Rose 2003), and N. Rose and J. Abi-Rached, Neuro: the new brain sciences and the management of the mind, Princeton, 2013, Chapter 7 (Rose and Abi-Rached 2013).