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Pannese, Alessia

Pannese, Alessia

NIAS Individual Fellowship

An Integrated Approach To Self: Phenomenology, Physiology, Portraiture

Research Question

How did late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century self-portraiture reflect, engage with, and challenge theoretical notions and empirical evidence about the relation between the experience of the self as subject/agent/perceiver and the experience of the self as object of perception?

Project Description

I will examine late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century self-portraiture in light of contemporary phenomenological and neuro-physiological accounts of the experience of the self. I aim to identify and characterise the ways in which self-portraiture may act as a visual model, cognitive tool, and locus of convergence where phenomenological and neurophysiological approaches to the self interface, intersect, and interact. My provisional argument is that self-portraiture offers a concrete instantiation of phenomenology, as it materialises the dialectic between self-as-object and self-as-subject.

Selected Publications

— Alessia Pannese, ‘The non-orientability of the mechanical in Thomas Carlyle’s early essays’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History of Ideas, Vol. 6, Issue 11 (2017), pp. 3:1-3:19


— Alessia Pannese, ‘From aviation to cognition: fly-by-wire, self-control, and the reversal of the paradox of automation’, Perspectives, Vol. 16 (2017), pp. 28-31


— Alessia Pannese, ‘The “I” of the beholder: studying the “self” between the humanities and neuroscience’, Medical Humanities, Vol. 37, Issue 2 (August 2011), pp. 115-122.