In this second episode of HOM Videos on The Neuroscience of Mimesis, Vittorio Gallese discusses with Nidesh Lawtoo important precursors of the discovery of mirror neurons in aesthetics, phenomenology and the tradition of the mimetic unconscious: from Nietzsche to Lipps, Merleau-Ponty to Aby Warburg, Charles Féré to Pierre Janet, a number of fin-de-siecle philosophical physicians were sensitive to the mirroring relation between movement and sensation later confirmed by the discovery of mirror neurons.
As HOM Videos moves toward a conclusion, Nidesh Lawtoo travels to Parma, Italy, to interview neuroscientist Vittorio Gallese who, along with Giacomo Rizzolatti and his team, discovered mirror neurons in the early 1990s. In the first of four episodes on a major contribution to the mimetic turn, Gallese retells the history of the discovery of mirror neurons in nonhuman and human primates, discusses what more is known about mirroring mechanisms 30 years later, and begins to lay out the theoretical implications of embodied simulation for the transformations of homo mimeticus in the 21st century.
What’s in a voice? And if the echoes a voice generates are neither
singular nor plural but singular plural, what shared voices are at play in
Jean-Luc Nancy’s untimely reflections on the affective participation, or
methexis, animating the agonistic confrontation between philosophy and
literature? Part of a dazzling collection of essays thinking with Nancy, in this chapter Nidesh Lawtoo reveals the partage des voix internal Lacoue-Nancy. Chapter available HERE.
In his latest contribution to mimetic studies, Violence and the Oedipal Unconscious (MSU P, 2023), Nidesh Lawtoo reframes current debates on (new) media violence by tracing the philosophical, aesthetic, and historical vicissitudes of the “catharsis hypothesis” from antiquity to modernity into the present via Aristotle, Nietzsche, Bernays, Freud, Girard, Morin among others. In the process, he outlines a new theory of violence, mimesis, and the unconscious that does not have desire as a via regia, but rather, the untimely realization that all affects spread contagiously and thus mimetically.
The HOM project officially ended in 2022 but publications are still forthcoming. In this article Nidesh Lawtoo revisits J. Hillis Miller’s career as one of the most influential theorists and critics of the past 50 years and shows that Miller’s last work offers an essential contribution to the mimetic turn, or re-turn. Published with symploke, the article is available Open Access HERE.
More information and Zoom Link HERE.
In this book launch of Homo Mimeticus: A New Theory of Imitation (Leuven UP, 2023, OPEN ACCESS), HOM/GM PI Nidesh Lawtoo joins forces with his team (Niki Hadikoesoemo, Marina Garcia-Granero & Giulia Rignano) to sum up the main results of the HOM project and open up the new transdisciplinary field of mimetic studies Homo Mimeticus proposes.
In the eighth episode of HOM Videos, the philosopher and historian of psychoanalysis Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen (University of Washington) discusses with Nidesh Lawtoo the genealogical foundations of psychic mimesis: from his studies at the University of Strasbourg with Lacoue-Labarthe to the birth of psychoanalysis (out of Charcot’s and Bernheim’s theories of hysteria and suggestion), from Freud’s account of identification to Lacan’s theory of the mirror stage to Big Pharma, mimesis turns out to play the leading protean role in the modern and contemporary pathologies of homo mimeticus.
5 years ago the HOM project promised a new theory of imitation to face some of the main challenges of the present. Here it is, with Leuven UP! In this book launch, HOM/GM team members Niki Hadikoesoemo, Marina García-Granero and Giulia Rignano talk with Nidesh Lawtoo about the main insights and takeaways of Homo Mimeticus: A New Theory of Imitation (Freely available Open Access here). All are welcome, reception to follow, and on hybrid mode More information including Zoom link here.
The Gendered Mimesis project is pleased to announce a two-day international conference on the subject of the “Metamorphoses of Mimesis” in the work of contemporary French philosopher Catherine Malabou. Last weeks to submit an abstract!