Institute for General Semantics conference

‘Tis the season for conference announcements! This one was forwarded to me by Joan Jocson at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (thanks, Joan!).

The Institute of General Semantics is now taking registrations for the 57th Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture & Dinner and 3-Day International IGS Conference. Anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson will be giving the keynote lecture: “The Changing Shapes of Lives: Making Meaning Across Time.’

Joan passed along the mission statement of the IGS, which I have to share with our readers:

The Institute of General Semantics (IGS) promotes a scientific approach to understanding human behavior, especially that related to symbol systems and language, and the application of proven principles that guide advancements in critical thinking, rational behavior, and general sanity.

Amen, people! Proven principles to promote GENERAL SANITY — that’s something I can certainly get behind. If only I could persuade all the administrators at my university to get on board with that one!

For more information on the conference and registration, just follow this link over to the IGS website. The jump over to their site is worth it just to check out the silent movie clips of the earlier conferences (gestures from other eras just seem so odd — the past is another country, eh?) and the great quotes on prejudice, communication and other semantic issues running down the left of the page. Personal favourite: ‘The trouble with people is not so much with their ignorance as it is with their knowing so many things that are not so’ (William Alanson White).

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Trained as a cultural anthropologist at the University of Chicago, I have gone on to do fieldwork in Brazil and the United States. I have written one book, Learning Capoeira: Lessons in Cunning from an Afro-Brazilian Art (Oxford, 2005). I have also co-authored and co-edited several, including, with Dr. Daniel Lende, The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology (MIT, 2012), and with Dr. Melissa Fisher, Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy (Duke, 2006). My research interests include neuroanthropology, psychological anthropology, sport, dance, human rights, neuroscience, phenomenology, economic anthropology, and just about anything else that catches my attention.

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