A particular history of the brain

Neuromatic by John Lardas Modern | A photo of the book cover by Jonathan VanAntwerpen
Neuromatic | John Lardas Modern | Photo: Jonathan VanAntwerpen

“In the MRI, flat on my back, questions arose. How to write a particular history of the brain that would capture the reverberating intimacies and the cognitive claustrophobia — all that was going into the relation of power that I was experiencing? How to convey, let alone explain, the blinkered feeling that I might not be human? How to tell stories — and stories within stories — about the people, practices, propositions, and beliefs that have made the brain such a familiar image and pressing force in the world? In the MRI, the writerly challenge began to take shape.”

from John Lardas Modern’s Neuromatic: or, A Particular History of Religion and the Brain (The University of Chicago Press, 2021)



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Jonathan VanAntwerpen

Jonathan VanAntwerpen is a program director at the Henry Luce Foundation. Originally trained as a philosopher, he holds a Ph.D. in sociology from UC-Berkeley.