Bregje van Eekelen at conference on The History of Recent Social Science in Paris

Bregje van Eekelen will speak at the First Annual Conference on The History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS) in Paris. Her talk, titled “Creative Intelligence: US Military Investment in Undisciplined Thought 1945-1965” recounts how knowledge about creativity came about in the contact zone where studies of creativity were intricately entwined with the U.S. military. The entanglements of the U.S. military with the material infrastructure of the United States – e.g. the straight Interstate Highways and the world wide web – are well documented. In this paper she argues that our mode of thinking – our mental infrastructure – is also laced with military investments. That the military was a vital site for the production of knowledge about undisciplined thought, about thinking outside the box, is a fact that is left out of conventional historiographies of creativity studies. However, in the wake of the Cold War, creativity – as something to be defined, measured, and stimulated – came to be a matter of national security and an object of geopolitical concern.

This two-day conference, hosted at the École normale supérieure de Cachan, is organized as a series of one-hour, single-paper sessions attended by all participants. The schedule can be found online.

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