2017 – 18 Conferences

Thursday, November 23, 2017 from 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Smart Matter and the Thinking Body: Concepts for the Anthropocene

Thought & Culture Seminars and the Interdisciplinary Humanities MA program's Speakers' Series present...

Alex Levant
Department of Communication Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University

Location: Brenda Wallace Reading Room, J.N. Desmarais Library (map)

Abstract: Since the recent announcement of the Anthropocene by climatologists, there has been an increasing awareness that this new epoch, characterized by the ascendance of humans as the primary geological force affecting the planet, requires new theoretical concepts that are adequate to this new reality. Current trends in critical theory offer new ways to understand our situation. Examining the recent focus on matter and the material body, my aim is to add another ‘type’ of materialism to the conversation – one that grasps human activity itself as a material force, which may be a particularly fruitful approach for an epoch where the power of human activity has become so amplified.

Conference video

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Social Environment, Perezhivanie and Child Development: A Vygotskian Perspective

Faculty of Education
Monash University, Australia
Author of "Undiscovered vygotsky. Etudes on the pre-history of cultural-historical psychology", Frankfurt: Peter Lang (1999).

Location: Brenda Wallace Reading Room, J.N. Desmarais Library (map)

Abstract: How is it possible that children who grow up in a same family end up being so different? What is the role of the environment in children’s development? Different approaches in psychology have tried to outline responses to those questions. In this presentation I discuss the answers that derive from the work of the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. I discuss in particular Vygotsky’s concept of perezhivanie: a theoretical tool for the analysis of the influence of social environment, the social situation, and the social situation of child development. Pedagogical, psychological, sociological, and philosophical implications will be discussed.

Conference video

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 from 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Pensée, langage et construction de sens

Professor Frédéric Saussez
Université de Sherbrooke
Faculté d’éducation

Location: Brenda Wallace Reading Room, J.N. Desmarais Library (map)

Abstract: L’analyse des rapports dialectiques entre le langage intérieur et le langage extériorisé dans la micro genèse d’une idée chez l’adulte proposée par Vygotsky (1997) dans le chapitre 7 de Pensée et Langage esquisse les contours de la problématique des processus de production de sens et donne forme à un nouvel objet de recherche, à savoir les formes matérielles de la pensée verbale et réflexive. L’objectif de cette conférence est tout d’abord de mettre en perspective cette esquisse pour ensuite problématiser la question de l’analyse de la matérialité sémiotique de l’énoncé pour reconstruire la dynamique du processus de construction de sens.