“Improvising Consciousness,” by Professor Jennifer Årnstay

Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2010 at 1:12 am

Professor Jennifer Årnstay


The IMPCON performative lecture purports to be a scholarly account of human cognition from 2.5M BCE – 3,000 CE. The lecturer is Jennifer Årnstay, Professor of Material and Analogical Eco-Cognition and recipient of the Zen Dyson Award for InterZonal Exploration, visiting from an unspecified time and place.

Professor Årnstay says, “Do you ever feel you can’t put the true richness of your thoughts into words? Do you ever wake up and find the solution to a nagging problem is suddenly in your head? What is really going on in our minds: hiding in there behind language? My lecture will explain!”

The lecture critiques existing theories that equate human intelligence with language, men, and rationality. Instead it focuses on analogical- and visually-based cognitive processes. With conscious paradox the lecture uses dramatic story-telling to make an argument that language and narrative distort and limit our cognitive capacities. Elegantly consolidating the past, present and future of humanity, t