Speaker(s)Ralph Savarese, Richard C. Keller, DJ Savarese, Deborah Jenson and others
The term "neurodiversity," popularized by the autism community, challenges the pathologization of neurological deviation from a conventional social spectrum of "neurotypicality." Another branch of "neurodiversity" challenges the abstraction of the ideas of "mind" and "mental" states. Keynote speaker Ralph Savarese invites readers to be proactive in exploring literature's capacity "to stimulate embodied experience by activating nonlinguistic areas in the reader's brain" in a way that is as "close to an autistic way of engaging with the world as any form of language will allow." The Friday schedule includes a panel by Duke faculty on topics such as Flaubert's epilepsy and the counter-narrative of injured self, the technological and phenomenological non-conscious, and psychoanalysis and neuroscience. Keynote speaker Richard C. Keller takes on another "neurodiversity": the challenge to Western cultural normativity involved in the growing globalization of psychiatry since the 1990s. On the evening of Friday October 26 there will be a screening of the Peabody award-winning documentary Deej, led by filmmaker and author DJ Savarese, using a text-to-voice synthesizer. Saturday, the symposium shifts to interactive workshops at which faculty, students and community members are welcome. They'll learn about poetry and autism in DJ Savarese's workshop and in another workshop, address campus structures and initiatives to shore up student resiliency and to make a home for neurodiversities.