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IAS Fellows’ Seminar – Place and Memory: embodied wayfinding and cognitive maps

November 29, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

IAS Fellow’s Seminar by Professor John Sutton, Macquarie University

This informal talk aims to open up some puzzles for interdisciplinary enquiry into relations between memory and navigation or spatial cognition. Research on these relations is lively and flourishing in cognitive neuroscience and in social and cultural theory alike, but attempts to integrate approaches face significant challenges. While Professor Sutton hopes that study of ‘distributed cognition’ in ‘cognitive ecologies’ may offer some ways forward, it is easy to feel stuck at roadblocks between distinct disciplinary sectors. So he raises three questions to concentrate the search for passageways. How do we acknowledge and study the interactions or entanglements of different forms of remembering in the context of place and memory? What changes when we study deep embodied familiarity with specific landscapes or cityscapes, rather than navigation of new or artificial environments? And, what is the current status of anthropological critiques of the notions of ‘mental’ or ‘cognitive maps’? One natural direction for pluralist research is to try pooling distinct methods and resources in approaching rich case studies of navigation and memory in real places, together.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending should register interest in advance here to reserve a place. Places will be confirmed within 48 hours of receipt (subject to availability). To watch online please register here.


November 29, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin’s Hall, Seminar Room
Palace Green
Durham, County Durham DH1 3RL United Kingdom
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+44 191 334 2589
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Institute of Advanced Study

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