a box of birds events pieces of light

A note on some upcoming talks

I’ve got a busy run-up to Christmas talking about Pieces of Light, A Box of Birds and other things.

On Saturday 6 October I’ll be at the Wigtown Book Festival talking about memory. It’ll be my first time at this festival, and I’m looking forward to a variety of treats including a strand celebrating their famous starry skies, and some big names including Sara Maitland, Marina Warner, Jon Ronson and James Kelman. You can see the full programme here.

On Friday 12 and Saturday 13 October I’ll be at the Institute of Philosophy in London talking about memory and narrative in a conference on narrative and self-understanding in psychiatric disorder. I’ll be talking about some of the memory distortions that I wrote about in Pieces of Light.

On Thursday 18 October I’ll be at the University of York talking about ‘Neuroscience and the novel: Strange Bedfellows?‘ This talk will be part of the Strange Bedfellows programme exploring relations between creativity and criticism. I’ll be talking about A Box of Birds and my experiences of trying to combine science and fiction-writing. There’ll be a particular focus on my attempt, in A Box of Birds, to trace the limits of neuroscientific framings of human experience and behaviour on the pages of the novel and beyond.

On Wednesday 24 October I head to Berlin for the Experimental Entanglements in Cognitive Neuroscience workshop. My title is ‘If thinking is dialogic, who’s doing the talking?’

Saturday 27 October sees me back in Durham for the Durham Book Festival. I’ll be hosting a School of Life event on ‘Thriving not Surviving‘ with my School of Life colleagues Philippa Perry, John-Paul Flintoff, Roman Krznaric and Tom Chatfield. I’ll then be doing a special event on A Box of Birds, talking about how the novel came to be and its relations with the science of memory and consciousness. The event will be chaired by Professor Simon James of Durham’s English Department.

On Wednesday 31 October I’ll be speaking at the Psychosis Special Interest Group at Durham University on the inner speech model of voice-hearing and auditory verbal hallucinations, as part of our Wellcome-funded ‘Hearing the Voice‘ project.

On the weekend of 24 and 25 November, I’ll be in Cheltenham participating in the Medicine Unboxed 2012 conference. The theme is ‘Belief’ and the speakers include Richard Holloway, Sebastian Faulks, Jo Shapcott and Bryan Appleyard. I’ll be talking about A Box of Birds and offering some thoughts on neuromaterialism reductionism and the refuge of art.

Finally, I’ll be in conversation with the novelist, poet and memoirist Blake Morrison at the University of London on Tuesday 27 November. Our theme will be ‘Memoir and Memory‘, and the event is part of a series entitled ‘Life Writing: borderlands between fact and fiction’, organised by the Open University and University of London.

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