"Presence of Mind: Ideology, Interpellation, and Cognitive Theory"

Liz Hart

Ideology as a concept has suffered from an undertheorization of the subjective mind: After all, the Althusserean metaphor of the subject's being "hailed" by discursive forces implies, but does not explore, both a receiving mechanism and a response apparatus on the part of the subject. But a neat resort to contemporary cognitive theory poses a problem of the opposite nature: Most cognitive theory undertheorizes the formative forces of culture and discourse, attributing an essentializing quality of agency and authority to the subjective mind. The challenge, then, is two-fold: to infuse a model of mind into ideology theory, and to weave a consciousness of ideology into contemporary theories of mind. Both are possible, and my project will attempt to establish the terms on which these conflicting conversations may reach some agreement.

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