Find out more about the Call for Proposals for the 3rd Annual Transcending Boundaries Research Symposium here and below:
Life of the Mind . . . Body and Soul
Transcending Boundaries Research Symposium
May 1, 2020
University of Chicago
“Life of the Mind” is one of the University of Chicago’s most beloved unofficial mottos, meant to convey a deep commitment to intellectual and philosophical inquiry that eschews the supposedly lesser carnal pursuits of life that may distract students at other venerable institutions. This focus on the mind above all else has its roots in the Enlightenment ideals of Rene Descartes, which place a mind-body hierarchy as the foundation of humanistic thought, the scientific method, and Western thought overall. However, while “Life of the Mind” at UChicago prioritizes Cartesian Enlightened intellectualism, this mantra is problematic on two fronts: its negates to acknowledge humanism’s prerequisite of non-European exclusion and ignores the potential epistemological contributions of the body and soul. So, what happens when we begin to explore the minds and ideas of people of color? How can we include the body and the soul into this conversation? Further, how does this elevation of Western thinking shut the door to other epistemologies that aren’t based in a mind-body divide, but instead focus on holistic integration of mental, physical, and spiritual inquiry?
DAB’s 3rd annual Transcending Boundaries Research Symposium, Life of the Mind… Body and Soul, now invites UChicago’s graduate student population to present their scholarship, which may reflect work not fully encompassed or embraced by the exclusionary Life of the Mind ethos. It is especially our hope to highlight the work of self-identified underrepresented populations. This may include research on non-Western traditions, practical rather than merely theoretical applications, marginalized communities, religious beliefs, and more.
DAB conceives this theme quite broadly and invite proposals from all divisions and fields.