Kent State to Host International Conference on the Humanities
Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will host a four-day international conference on the humanities at the Kent State Hotel and Conference Center at 215 S. Depeyster St. in downtown Kent, Ohio.
The conference, “Why the Humanities: Answers from the Cognitive and Neurosciences,” will take place July 9-12 and features cutting-edge, empirical research demonstrating the ways that education in the humanities develops cognitive and emotional capabilities that are crucial for personal well-being, responsible global citizenship and social justice. The conference is co-sponsored by the Ohio Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In addition to panels and teacher workshops, the conference will feature presentations by 10 prominent researchers. Angus Fletcher, Ph.D., a professor of English and film studies at Ohio State University, will present “The Science of Storytelling: How Empirical Research into Literature Can Re-Program Hollywood and Nurture Democracy” at the conference banquet, which begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 11. Fletcher’s research investigates how a scientific understanding of narrative form can contribute to the production of stories (including movies and television programs) that promote more humane societies. He will discuss research that he is conducting with renowned neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, as well as a new television show he is doing with Anonymous Content, the producers of HBO’s hit series “True Detective.”
Recent studies in the cognitive and neurosciences indicate how humanities education can develop key cognitive and emotional capabilities, including empathy, mind-reading, metacognition, bias correction, self-knowledge, self-other overlap recognition and moral judgment.
“This event is part of an ongoing project of Kent State’s Social Cognition Research Group, a team of faculty from English, history, modern and classical language studies, philosophy, psychological sciences and sociology, that is conducting empirical research into the neurocognitive developments that humanities education can foster,” said Mark Bracher, Ph.D., Kent State professor of English and conference co-organizer.
# # #
Angus Fletcher, Ph.D., a professor of English and film studies at Ohio State University, will present “The Science of Storytelling: How Empirical Research into Literature Can Re-Program Hollywood and Nurture Democracy” on July 11 at the “Why the Humanities.”