Thursday, February 18, 2010

Julian Jaynes news

Since I'm a keynote speaker at both these conferences, and since Julian Jaynes's The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind figures prominently in my novel Wake, I pass on this message from Marcel Kuijsten, Executive Director, of the Julian Jaynes Society:

Dear Friends and Members of the Julian Jaynes Society,

Here is an update on related upcoming conferences in 2010:

Toward A Science of Consciousness
April 12-17, 2010, Tucson, AZ

We are pleased to announce that we have arranged for a four-hour pre-conference workshop at the 2010 "Toward a Science of Consciousness" conference. There will also be several talks related to Jaynes’s theory during the conference.

Four Hour Pre-Conference Workshop

Prof. Brian J. McVeigh & Marcel Kuijsten - "Voices, Visions, and Dreams: Explaining Anomalous Neurological Phenomena through the Work of Julian Jaynes"

This interactive 4-hour pre-conference workshop will take place Monday, April 12th from 2pm–6pm. The workshop will be like an intensive Jaynes "mini-conference," so be sure to attend. The workshop can be attended separately from the main conference.

Topics covered will include the transition to consciousness in geographical areas not covered by Julian Jaynes, visual hallucinations, the most recent neurological evidence on psychosis and the bicameral mind, and an in-depth discussion of bicameral vs. conscious dreams.

Jaynes-Related Conference Talks

In addition to the pre-conference workshop, there will be several talks given by Julian Jaynes Society members during the conference:

Robert J. Sawyer - "Consciousness in Science Fiction"
Science fiction writer Robert Sawyer will be one of the keynote speakers. Mr. Sawyer incorporates Jaynes's ideas into two of his novels: WWW: Wake and Mindscan.
Sat., April 17, 11:00am

Brian J. McVeigh - "The Unconscious in History: Why Did It Appear When It Did?"
Dept. of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona
Evolution of Consciousness Session, Fri., April 16, 4:30-6:30pm

Carole Brooks Platt - "Voices from the Other Side: Neuroscience, Attachment Theory and the Creative Self"
Evolution of Consciousness Session, Fri., April 16, 4:30-6:30pm

Gary Williams - "What is It Like to Be Unconscious?"
Dept. of Philosophy, Louisiana State University
Poster Session

For information on registration and accommodations see:

Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness
July 29–31, 2010, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Call for Papers: Please send abstracts (500–750 words) to the conference coordinator Prof. Scott Greer at by April 15, 2010.

The Keynote speaker will be science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer.

This is a general consciousness conference dedicated to the memory of Julian Jaynes (not all talks will be related to Jaynes's theory).

The conference was created as part of the Julian Jaynes Memorial Endowment at the University of Prince Edward Island. This fund was established to create a lasting tribute to the late Princeton professor and author, and long-time PEI resident, and to fulfill his legacy to support and encourage the study of consciousness.

For more information, please visit the conference website: jaynesconference2010.html

Other items of interest:

Read the latest issue of The Jaynesian:

Read Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness (now in 28 countries)

Discuss Jaynes’s theory on the Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum (it’s free!):


Marcel Kuijsten
Executive Director
Julian Jaynes Society