A Field Guide to a New Meta-field
Bridging the Humanities-Neurosciences Divide
Barbara Stafford is a pioneering art historian whose research has long helped to bridge the divide between the humanities and cognitive sciences. In A Field Guide to a New Meta-Field, she marshals a distinguished group of thinkers to forge a ground-breaking dialogue between the emerging brain sciences, the liberal arts, and social sciences.
Stafford’s book examines meaning and mental function from this dual experimental perspective. The wide-ranging essays included here—from Frank Echenhofer’s foray into shamanist hallucinogenic visions to David Bashwiner’s analysis of emotion and danceability—develop a common language for implementing programmatic and institutional change. Demonstrating how formerly divided fields are converging around shared issues, A Field Guide to a New Meta-Field maps a high-level, crossdisciplinary adventure from one of our leading figures in visual studies.
“Any book that helps demolish the stubbornly ingrained gospel of Cartesian bifurcation is, indeed, welcome. This book is a fairly major contribution to this deconstruction project not only in exposing Cartesian fallacies, but also suggesting positive, practical ways of putting ‘Humpty Dumpty back together again.’ . . . The essays in this book will challenge many ‘hide-bound’ academics’ stale and outmoded paradigms, and certainly make most readers sit up and think very seriously about the future direction of their research.”