Dr Des Fitzgerald

Email: des@hubbubresearch.org

I am a (slightly reluctant) qualitative sociologist, interested in the psychiatric and brain sciences.

In the Hub, I will pursue two projects that have been preoccupying me recently. First, I will think about the relationship between noise and rest in city life, and how that relationship gets indexed and experienced as a marker of psychiatric distress. Through historical, ethnographic, and theoretical work, I will explore the ways in which restless citizens (have) become psychiatric subjects, and I will analyse how the cacophonous tumult of urban life is increasingly understood (and intervened upon) as a complex tangle of brain, body, and environment. I especially want to think through the ways in which this understanding torques the politics of the contemporary city – how the pathologically restless urban brain remakes notions of health, justice, and the good urban life. Second, I will think about interdisciplinarity – a way of answering questions that is much admired yet little analyzed. Again, using ethnographic methods, I will ask: what kind of epistemology is actually enacted, in practice, by a space like the Hub? How does it play out in the micro-politics and -practices of academic inquiry? What does it mean – and what does it feel like – to squat awkwardly between the arts, social sciences and life sciences?