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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Previous Events

Personification Across Disciplines: An interdisciplinary Conference at Durham University

17th September 2018, 09:00 to 19th September 2018, 17:00, Durham University

Humans have a flair for attributing intentions, traits, agency, emotions and mental states to beings or things – either real or imagined. Whether anthropomorphising natural or abstract shapes, playing with imaginary companions, (re) constructing fictional characters and dialoguing with gods or hallucinatory presences, the attribution of an agentive mentality to human and non-human targets appears both natural and meaningful to our everyday life. The personification of inanimate, non-human, virtual or absent objects or entities seems at the core of human cognition, yet remains in many respects mysterious. To what extent is personification a conscious process whereby we extend intersubjective and narrative relations? When does this capacity emerge? What are its cognitive underpinnings and what are its effects? Is there a continuum to be traced between these different cognitive, narrative, religious and hallucinatory experiences?

Explore these questions and much more with Personification Across Disciplines (PAD2018), an interdisciplinary conference that aims to explore personifying dynamics and experiences through a variety of disciplines, methods and perspectives.

Registration is now open and can be completed online. For further information on accommodation, speakers and the programme, please visit the conference website.

Registration closes on 15 August 2018.

Personification Across Disciplines is organised by Hearing the Voice. Thanks to Wellcome Trust funding, the conference is free to attend.