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New Frontiers Seminar Series


Location:  Arts and Administration Building (AA) 160 New Council Chambers

Please join us for the next New Frontiers Seminar which will be given by our very own Professor Melba Cuddy-Keane.

Professor Cuddy-Keane is a Professor Emerita in the Department of English at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She is an outstanding researcher, teacher and citizen of UTSC. Her research interests include Modernism; Narrative; Cognition; Globalism/Internationalism; Book History and Print Culture.

Professor Cuddy-Keane will be discussing the intersection of narrative and emotional memory. Please see the detailed abstract below.


Narrative, Emotional Memory, and the Challenge of Changing Our Minds

Although early theories of memory posited its permanence and stability after consolidation, approaches today increasingly posit memory's plasticity and the possibilities for transformational reconsolidation at later times. Such plasticity is particularly significant for emotional memory: given the neurological overlaps of the processes for episodic memory and episodic future thinking, altering emotional memory may be crucial for our ability to imagine the future in generative, productive ways.

In this talk, narrative is viewed less as "story" than as emotional process. Underlying the surface structure of the plot is a deeper structure of cognitive and emotional progression, enacted on the levels of characters, writer, and reader. Viewing images from Alison Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home, we will investigate what narrative can tell us about the role of scene construction and spatial navigation in the process of changing our (emotional) minds.  The model proposed is not memory erasure, but memory palimpsest.

A light lunch will be provided.


The New Frontiers Seminar Series is hosted by the Graduate Students' Association at Scarborough (GSAS) and sponsored by the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research. The series showcases cutting edge research from the University of Toronto Scarborough, while highlighting new discoveries from leading researchers in North America.

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