Mind Reading as Cultural Practice

Room 2070a, Main building, Humboldt University Berlin, Unter den Linden 6
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Kulturwissenschaft
22.03.2018 - 23.03.2018
Laurens Schlicht; Christian Kassung; Simone Natale

A wide range of technologies and techniques have been developed throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century to generate knowledge about what people feel, think, wish, or plan. To give just a few examples, lie detectors employ physiological evidence to establish if a subject is telling the truth or if s/he is lying; interrogation techniques increasingly become the object of scientific discourse, as the establishment of legal facts (Tatbestandsdiagnostik) develops to investigate the objective facts; subfields of psychology such as characterology are designed to identify and recognize certain types; and recently computing technologies employ algorithm and facial recognition software to make inferences about feelings and mental states. Yet, also due to disciplinary boundaries and to the different contexts in which these have emerged and developed, relatively few attempts have been made to address such diverse practices in conjunction and connection with each other. This conference aims to fill this gap. Employing the concept of mind reading in a broad sense as designating any technique that helps to create knowledge about people’s feelings and states of mind, it aims to stimulate a critical debatebout mind reading techniques as forms of knowledge and in regard to their political, social, and cultural dimension.


Conference Programme

Thursday, 22th March

Welcome from the organizers

Empathic Connections (Chair: Simone Natale)

Melissa Littlefield, University of Illinois-Champaign, USA
“Electrical Potential: Mind Reading as Collaborative Action”

Michael Pettit, York University, Toronto, Canada
“Let's Talk about Sex: Deception and the Making of Sexological Subject”

Mind Reading Technologies (Chair: Christian Kassung)

Eberhard Bauer, Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP), Freiburg, Germany
“‘Occult Technologies’ for ‘Mind Reading’: Hans Bender’s Experiments with the Scriptoscope”

Simone Natale, Loughborough University, UK
“Amazon Can Read Your Mind: A Media Archaeology of the Algorithmic Imaginary”

Psychical Connections and Paranormal Beliefs (Chair: Laurens Schlicht)

Michael Seelig, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany
“Telepathy in German Parapsychology during the Weimar Republic”

Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck University of London, UK
“The Revival of Mind-Reading in the Psychical 70s”

Technology and Neuroscience (Chair: Tiago da Costa e Silva)
Kirsten Brukamp, Evangelische Hochschule Ludwigsburg, Germany
“Mind Reading: From Psychology to Neuroscience, Ethical and Social Issues”

Anthony Enns, Dalhousie University, Canada
“Imaging the Mind: Photography, Neurology, and the Science of Brain Waves”

Friday, 23th March

Stage Magic and Anomalous Experiences (Chair: Simone Natale)

Gustav Kuhn and Christine Mohr, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
“Mind Reading in the Classroom: Uncovering the Emergence of Paranormal Beliefs Using Stage Magic”

Reading and Interpreting the Criminal Mind (Chair: Ehler Voss)

Laurens Schlicht, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
“Technologies of Truth”

Annette Mülberger, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
“Techniques of Mind Reading in Spanish Juridical Psychology (ca. 1900-1940)”

Christian Bachhiesl, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria
“Reading the Criminal: Making Visible the Deviant Character in the Austrian School of Criminology”

Mind Reading, Totalitarianism and Political Control (Chair: Christian Kassung)

Yevhenii Monastyrski, Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine
“Alienation of the Mind: Early Soviet Show Trials as Method for Framing of Mass Consciousness”

Sophia Gräfe, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
“Knowing Men: Behavioural Knowledge and Medial Forms of Mimesis in the Former Ministry for State Security (Stasi)”

16:40-17:00 Final discussion


Laurens Schlicht

Mind Reading as Cultural Practice, 22.03.2018 – 23.03.2018 Berlin, in: H-Soz-Kult, 22.01.2018, <www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-36226>.
Veröffentlicht am