Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Death, Life, and the Immortal Brain

Among the many tech-focused booths at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) early this year, one stood out in particular: an exhibition of manufactured bodies, or “sleeves,” into which someone could theoretically download their consciousness. The exhibition was a promotion for the new Netflix series Altered Carbon, a science fiction saga set 300 years in the future where individuals can …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject

This article is part of the series:

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Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega’s Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject is a fine-grained account of the “neuro-” in a range of disciplines, and, importantly––crucially––, takes stock of the history and scope of this prefix.  But more than this the book is an exploration, a critical engagement with the surge of brain-centered approaches to behavior, to physiology, to mind, …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Des Fitzgerald’s Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

This article is part of the series:

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Des Fitzgerald writes of his book, Tracing Autism, “This is a book about scientists talking about their own practice, in tones that are beset by ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and even some anxiety” (9).  This is true, and after reading the book one might find the description a little understated.  By now the idea that neuroscience, any science, is …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: NFL Concussion Risk and our Chronic, Traumatic Entertainment

As the NFL continues to dominate headlines in both sports and politics, there was a renewed focus this month on CTE and its impact on the lives of players from youth to professional football. CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain disorder resulting from repeated, sub-concussive blows to the head causing the buildup of an abnormal protein called …

BooksFeatures

Book Forum–Elizabeth A. Wilson’s Gut Feminism

This article is part of the series:

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Elizabeth Wilson’s Gut Feminism revisits feminism’s traditionally antagonistic engagement with biology with a call to reposition the body in feminist thought. As Wilson critically explores relationships between guts and melancholia, pharmacokinetics and bile, psyche and soma, she generates tools and insights for a new feminist reading of biology, and articulates the role of aggression as a necessary condition for feminist …

BooksFeatures

Tobias Rees’s Plastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms

plastic reason coverPlastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms

by Tobias Rees

University of California Press, 2016, 352 pages

 

In the prefatory pages of Plastic Reason, Tobias Rees explains that his ethnographic study of the lab of French biologist Alain Prochiantz — one of the earliest proponents, technicians, and conceptual architects of neuronal plasticity — is ultimately “about …