Threshold Worlds continues its Models of the Human seminar series in collaboration with the Institute for Medical Humanities. Next week, on February 25th from 9-10:30pm (GMT), Professor John Sutton (Macquarie University) will speak on the models of memory and dreaming found in the work of French sociologist Maurice Halwachs:

In The Social Frameworks of Memory (1925), Maurice Halbwachs systematically contrasts dreaming and remembering. He argues that memory is a complex socio-cognitive achievement involving ‘mental work’ on the basis of norms and shared notions. If remembering was, as Bergson thought, a purely subjective escape from society, it would be like dreaming – fragmentary and unmoored. Integrating phenomenology and developmental evidence, Halbwachs argues that there are no rich or coherent memories in dreams. I assess the theoretical and historical significance of these ideas in our era of situated cognitive theory, discussing links to contemporary debates about mental time travel, childhood amnesia, relations between dreams and imagination, and the role of social norms in memory. 

Professor Sutton is a Professor of Cognitive Science who has worked extensively on memory and social cognition across philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, and  neurosciences. One of the leading promoters of an enactive, extended and embodied approach to the mind, he has tried to bring humanities, social sciences, and cognitive sciences together, and to integrate conceptual, ethnographic, and experimental methods. John is currently editing the first full English translation of Halbwachs’ Les Cadres Sociaux De la Memoire

This event and the other talks in the series will take place virtually via Zoom. If you are interested in attending, please email Dr. Marco Bernini (marco.bernini@durham.ac.uk) for the link and passcode.