Forskergruppen Litteratur og vitenskap


Seminar 26.-27. mai, 2016 ved Det norske universitetssenter i Paris

Max Ernst
Max Ernst, La Femme 100 têtes


The Bergen Literature and Science Research group invites scholars of the humanities, neurologists and psychiatrists to explore the phenomenology of the ageing self. This research seminar encourages topics that intrinsically connect especially literary texts on ageing and old age with the realms of neurology and psychiatry. It will allow us to study comparatively some physical and psychological aspects of ageing, as they are perceived through the lenses of medicine, literature (imaginative, autobiographical, reflective) and also visual media, in any historical period. While we do not expect literary scholars to be medically trained or neurologists and psychiatrists to be experts in literary critique, we do hope to enable a lively dialogue. In this way the event will give various responses to some inherent challenges in an interdisciplinary approach to ageing. How can fictions, images and testimonies of the ageing mind cohere with neurology's materialized conceptions of neuro-degeneration? How do the weakened senses of senescence affect sensitivity, and how is this rendered in our divergent discourses? What conceptual frameworks and critical tools can the humanities adopt to study ageing in synergy with the scientific approaches pursued by medicine and psychiatry?


Confirmed speakers:

Bernt A Engelsen (University of Bergen), The aging self in an epileptological and neuropsychiatric setting

Martine Boyer-Weinmann (Université de Lyon 2), Amnesia, hypermnesia and hyper-aesthesia narratives

Jan Frich (University of Oslo), Literary Myths about neuro-degeneration: The case of Huntington's disease

Samuel Lepastier (Université de Paris Diderot), Ageing Hysterics: Fictional and Clinical cases

George Rousseau (University of Oxford), reads from his new memoir in progress entitled Sleepless.



The seminar language will be English. Please send by February 15, 2016: a title and a short abstract (max. 200 words) including name, discipline and affiliation to Margery Vibe Skagen: margery.skagen@uib.no Applicants will be notified of the committee's decision by March 1.