CMBC Lunches

Spring 2017 Lunch Series

Sociocultural and Psychological Perspectives on Bilingualism | Donald Tuten & Alena Esposito | January 24, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sociocultural and Psychological Perspectives on Bilingualism

Donald Tuten
Department of Anthropology
Emory University

Alena Esposito
Department of Psychology
Emory University 

Alena Esposito (Research Scientist in Psychology) and Don Tuten (Associate Professor of Spanish and Lingusitics) will discuss different aspects of research on bilingualism. Dr. Esposito will focus on recent cognitive and neuroscientific research on bilingualism, while Dr. Tuten will focus on fundamental questions in social and cultural approaches to research on bilingualism. Both presenters will touch on and consider the implications of these approaches on education and educational approaches to research on bilingualism.

Consciousness from an Empiric Stance | Joseph Neisser | February 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Consciousness from an Empiric Stance 

Joseph Neisser
Department of Philosophy
Grinnell College 

A chief stumbling block for a science of consciousness has always been that there are so few ways to measure consciousness. Recent developments in clinical neuroscience suggest a promising new start on this problem, and raise new empirical issues. The progress may also carry some surprising philosophical implications for realists about consciousness.

Laughter: An Example of Human Complexity | Eric Smadja | April 6, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Laughter: An Example of Human Complexity

Eric Smadja
Paris, France

As a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and anthropologist, I will review and discuss the discourse on laughter.  Traditionally, this discourse seems to summon to mind three principal characteristics of laughter: its specifically human nature, its structural relationship to the joy and pleasure procured by what is laughable, making laughter an indicator of “good health,” and its automatic, reflexive aspect.  Unfortunately, it seems to obscure two fundamental aspects of laughter: its historicity and the complexity of its determinism. I think that laughter, like all human behavior, referring to human complexity, must be the object of a multi and interdisciplinary approach involving biological, psychological, historical and socio-cultural considerations. And one of the modes of their interaction may be supplied by the idea of communication.  Indeed, traditionally perceived as being a facial emotional expression, laughter is fundamentally a mode of non-verbal communication of different types of affective messages among which figure, in the first place, joy and pleasure, but also aggressiveness and anxiety. So this idea of communication could well be the unifying concept by means of which laughter’s biological, psychological, pathological and socio-cultural facets may be envisaged.