Beckett and Brain Science



(Poster designed by Rhys Tranter)

Beckett and Brain Science is a research project led by Dr Elizabeth Barry (University of Warwick), Dr Ulrika Maude (University of Reading) and Dr Laura Salisbury (Birkbeck, University of London). It is funded by an AHRC Science and Culture Exploratory Award, and explores the interconnections between neurological and psychiatric conceptions of language, embodiment and the self in the work of Samuel Beckett.

Below is the programme for a one-day symposium on Beckett and Brain Science, to be held at the University of Reading Special Collections on 27 April 2012.

10:00-10:30     Coffee and registration
10:30-11:30     “…but the brain…”: Professor James Knowlson (University of Reading) and Dr Ulrika Maude (University of Reading) in Conversation
11:30-12:30     Dr Peter Fifield (St John’s Oxford): “Seeing Things: The Brain and the Archive”
12:30-1:15       Lunch
1:15-2:15         Professor Dirk Van Hulle (University of Antwerp): “Beckett’s Manuscripts and the Extended Mind: A Post-Cartesian what is the word
2:15-3:15         Professor Mary Bryden (University of Reading): “’From Chaos to the Brain’: Beckett and Deleuze
3:15-3:45         Coffee
3:45-4:15         Jonathan Heron (University of Warwick, and Artistic Director, Fail Better Productions): “’Theatre Machines’ and ‘Beckett’s DNA’”
4:15-5:15         Professor Ronald Schleifer (University of Oklahoma): “Modernism as Gesture: Popular Music and Performances of Literature”
5:15-5:30         Closing words

The symposium will be held in the conference room of the University of Reading Special Collections. The building housing Special Collections and the Museum of English Rural Life is located in Redlands Road.


There is no registration fee for ‘Beckett and Brain Science,’ but please send an email with the following registration details to Ulrika Maude at







There are a limited number of rooms available in Black Horse House on the University campus. For bookings, please contact Miranda Hogg at, tel. 0118 378 8906, quoting ‘Beckett and Brain Science’.



About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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