Social Media, Desire and Power in Western Theory
時間：5月17日 9:00 am
The talk will examine the relationship between social media, desire and power. How has thinking and experience on writing, film etc influenced the way we think of social media? The talk will reconfigure current discussions on the effects of social media by Noa Harari, Doglous Rushkoff, Shoshana Zuboff and Jarome Lanier. It will position this discussion in older forms of critique and celebration of writing by Plato and Jacque Derrida, in Lacan's theory of Desire as well as in contemporary neuroscience of addiction.
Medicalization, Mental Illness and Narrative in the West
時間：5月20日 9:00 am
主持：曾軍 Jun ZENG
This talk will examine the expansion of medical ideas over areas that did not fall under this domain in the past. I focus on contemporary medicalization of anxiety and depression. Viewing anxiety and depression through the medical lens encourages us to think that we have neurochemical deficiencies in our brains and irrational beliefs. Both kinds of treatment deflect away from life circumstances as well as from solving problems together. Cognitive-behavior therapy for example has medicalized ancient stoic doctrine that negative emotions are experienced in relations to beliefs and interpretations and not as result of direct experience of reality. It sees negative emotions as arising from irrational beliefs about the world. However, as I show our beliefs about the world are not simply irrational or rational, our world is mediated through socially acquired ideals and goals that orient us in society but on the other hand may make us feel miserable. Moods and disorders have a subjective component, yet they correlate predictably with objective circumstances as well. Countries are ranked quite unsurprisingly on their happiness index, with Finland, Norway and Denmark on top and South Sudan, Central African Republic and Burundi on the bottom. Inside each society low socioeconomic status is a risk factor for mental illness. Nor are life events on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale unexpected. They appear very objective and go down from death of spouse, divorce, marital separation, imprisonment, death of close family member, personal injury or illness, marriage and dismissal from work. I end with examining the power of narrative to provide an alternative conceptualization of difficult emotions.
Reason, Language and Self in the Western Human Sciences
時間：5月21日 8:00 am
主持：孫曉忠 Xiaozhong SUN
Today rationality is articulated mainly in economic terms. I start by looking at best sellers in behavioral economics such as Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational that offer to see human beings as individual decision makers maximizing utility (albeit with a few predictable glitches in their rationality). I demonstrate the falseness of this image of man - homo economicus - by showing that all major decisions in life cannot be decided by comparing measurable utilities (where to study, who to marry, work vs. life balance etc.). Though behavioral economics often likes to present itself as straying significantly from homo economicus, it ultimately only reiterates this image of man. I look at the privatization of language in the theory of Noam Chomsky, and more sophisticated theory social theories that view language as a social tool rather than an innate privatized grammar. I finish with activity theory and actor-network theory and the way in can contribute to moving away from privatized notions of self, language and agency.
工作坊：發表於美國的A＆HCI / SSCI期刊：克服學術障礙
Workshop：Publishing it in A&HCI/SSCI journals in the U.S: overcoming barriers to scholarship and the search for intellectual excellence and new theory
時間：5月21日 10:00 am
主持：曾軍 Jun ZENG
The talk will begin by looking at strategies that have worked in overcoming U.S barriers in the scholarly and academic world. I will talk about what makes certain intellectual traditions influential and will look at several literary and poetic schools that made an international name for themselves. I will move to discuss barriers to Chinese scholarship specifically, what editors look for and the Journal of Comparative Literature and Culture in particular.