Mark B.N. Hansen

Mark Hansen headshot

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Literature – Duke University

BrainCultures Lab, co-director
Steering Committee

Mark Hansen served as a member of the Steering Committee for the 2021-22 academic year in his capacity as Chair of the Program in Literature. His work ranges across a host of disciplines, including literary studies, film and media, philosophy (particularly phenomenology), science studies, and cognitive neuroscience.

On the BrainCultures Lab

I am interested in work in the area of the cognitive neurosciences as a resource for expanding the frame of the theoretical Humanities. Neural processes provide a non-conscious substrate for conscious operations and contribute to the processes of meaning-making and phenomenal perception that have long been considered to be the purview of the Humanities. I am interested in finding ways to integrate into humanities work the perspective that scientific research (and philosophy of mind and related areas) introduces. What does it mean for human experience, I ask in my recent book Feed-Forward, that our consciousness is constitutively in-delay in relation to its own sensibility (the famous case of the missing half-second)? How does this latency render consciousness vulnerable to colonization by contemporary data industries and computational capital? What political projects might be developed to counter such colonization? Such are some of the questions my work poses to and with research in the cognitive neurosciences.

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