Roger Bartra (University of Mexico – UNAM)

Thursday, 19 June 2014, 6.00-7.30pm, Peltz Gallery, School of Arts, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

In this talk, Roger Bartra will discuss his latest book Anthropology of the Brain: Consciousness, Culture and Free Will (2014), in which he explores the mysteries of the human brain. In the book, Bartra shows that consciousness is a phenomenon that occurs not only in the mind but also in an external network, a symbolic system. He argues that the symbolic systems created by humans in art, language, in cooking or in dress, are the key to understanding human consciousness. Placing culture at the centre of his analysis, Bartra brings together findings from anthropology and cognitive science and offers an original vision of the continuity between the brain and its symbolic environment.

Roger Bartra is Professor Emeritus at the University of Mexico (UNAM) and Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. An anthropologist, sociologist, and respected public intellectual, he has served as editor of the Mexican literary weekly La Jornada Semanal and is a regular contributor to literary and political journals in Mexico, Spain, Japan, England, and the United States. He is also the author of numerous books in Spanish; those available in English include The Cage of Melancholy: Identity and Metamorphosis in the Mexican Character (1992), Wild Men in the Looking Glass: The Mythic Origins of European Otherness (1994) and Blood, Ink, and Culture: Miseries and Splendors of the Post-Mexican Condition (2002).

This event is co-organized by CILAVS and the Centre for Medical Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London.

Click here to download a copy of the poster.