NIAS-CSP Friday Online Lecture- Aparna Vijayan will speak on "How Free is Creativity?" - Reflections on Cross-Disciplinary Possibilities Between Neuroscience & Indian Aesthetics"


 NIAS-CSP Friday Online Lecture 

Organised by NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science campus, Bengaluru 560012

Topic: "How Free is Creativity?" - Reflections on Cross-Disciplinary Possibilities Between Neuroscience & Indian Aesthetics

 Speaker: Aparna Vijayan

 Introduction & About NIAS CSP Friday Lectures: Niharika Sharma

Chairperson:  Meera Kumar Menon

Date: 18 September 2020

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm 

Venue: Zoom online meeting - RSVP to with your full name and Institute/Affiliation/Address to receive the Zoom link and attend the lecture

About the Speaker: Aparna Vijayan is a Ph.D. Scholar in Political Studies, currently employed as Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara. Trained in Carnatic Classical music tradition, she is an aspiring vocalist, under the able guidance of her Guru, Vid. Mahalakshmi Ramachandran, daughter of a famous Harikatha Exponent Shri Jayarama Sarma. Aparna has also been trained in Bharatanatyam for over ten years. Her research interests include Political Theory, Political Thought (Western and Indian).

Abstract: Why does it 'feel' like raining when Raag Megh Malhar is sung? Why is it that the Raag ‘feels’ like there will be a downpour or it will engulf someone in the emotions of angst and pain? A legendary tale even goes like Mian Tansen was ‘engulfed in flames’ when he sang Raag Deepak. Why does the human mind/brain of a listener ‘feel’ the intrigue when a Carnatic music performer begins the notes on an ‘off’ beat and meticulously weaves it around the beats without a moment of doubt? Within the area of Neuroscience, there's a rapidly growing interdisciplinary area of study called Neuroaesthetics (a study of neurological basis of studying creativity and aesthetic human responses). The human brain, here, has been studied with the intention of investigating how these aesthetic responses are biologically imprinted in the brain and how ones' creative expressions take place. What is intriguing is how ancient Hindu cultural texts, such as texts on Aesthetics were concerned about training the mind of an artist and ensuring they engaged in creative modes of expression and while doing so, being ‘One’ with the Universe. Why we 'feel' a certain emotion even when we may not be going through that ourselves exemplifies the beginning of creativity and the endless possibilities it harbors. There are traces of an inquiry carried with the similar intent of studying the cause and manifestations of Creativity and the human mind. Neuroscience and Indian Aesthetics could expand in scope providing one with innumerable versions of understanding ones’ minds/selves. I shall focus on the possibilities and challenges involved in keeping alive discursive spaces across these disciplinary frameworks by using a select Classical Indian/ Hindu text on Aesthetics, Bharata Muni's ‘Natyashastra' as a reference in the exploration of what constitutes the ‘Creative’ Self, for the lack of a more creative term

If you have a question or a suggestion for a speaker, email the Coordinators of NIAS CSP Friday Lecture - Niharika Sharma and Meera Kumar Menon.  

Friday, September 18, 2020