When: April 25th, 2018 16:00 – 17:30
Where: STRAND BLDG S0.12, King’s College London Strand Campus
Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Kings College London which he founded in 2012. He is a social and political theorist, with a particular focus on questions of political power, mental health, psychiatry and neuroscience. His most recent books include The Politics of Life Itself : Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century(2007); Governing The Present (with Peter Miller, 2008) and Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (with Joelle Abi-Rached, 2013). His current work seeks to develop new relations between the social sciences and the life sciences, partly through research on mental health, migration and megacities: his forthcoming book The Urban Brain: Living in the Neurosocial City (with Des Fitzgerald) will be published by Princeton University Press in 2018. His long overdue book on Our Psychiatric Future? will be published by Polity Press in 2018.
Abstract: In this seminar I will argue that we should rethink the experience of living in the city in the light of recent developments in the sciences of life. We now know a great deal about the corporeal and cerebral impacts of the varieties of forms of life that we call ‘urban’. I will argue that social scientists need to work with researchers in the life sciences to understand how urban experience, and urban adversity ‘gets under the skin’ and shapes the bodies and brains of urban citizens and denizens. I will discuss the idea of ‘the neurosocial city,’ that I have developed with Des Fitzgerald. This concept aims to grasp the ways that the forms of life in the conglomerations we call cities are simultaneously lived and transacted through the living bodies and brains of ‘each and of all’ – the individuals and the multitudes who inhabit urban space. I will outline the argument that my colleagues and I are developing in our current research on the mental consequences of migration into megacities, explain why I think that understanding mechanisms is important both theoretically and practically, draw out the implications, on the one hand for our understanding of the vital lives of cities, and on the other, for the relations between the social sciences and the life sciences today.