Maggie Jackson will be giving a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Thursday, October 27 at 12 pm. Her talk is entitled “Mind in the Making: Reflection and the Artisanal in the Material World.”


Maggie Jackson is an author, social critic, and independent scholar whose writings for the past two decades have explored technology’s impact on humanity. Her current book project, The Handmade Mind (Penguin, 2017), investigates from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint the deep interplay between craftsmanship and reflection. A former Boston Globe contributing columnist, her publications include Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age (Prometheus, 2008); “Catching our Eye: The Alluring Fallacy of Knowing at a Glance,” in The State of the American Mind: 16 Leading Critics on the New Anti-Intellectualism (Templeton Press, 2015); “Of Molly’s Gaze and Taylor’s Watch: Why More is Less in a Split-Screen World” in The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking(Tarcher/Penguin, 2011); and hundreds of essays and articles in media worldwide, including the New York Times, NPR, Utne Reader, and Gastronomica. She has received numerous media awards and was the 2014 Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Art in Wood (Philadelphia). She holds a BA from Yale and a graduate Diploma in International Politics (with Distinction) from the London School of Economics. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at Bard Graduate Center, where she is finishing her book.

How do the worlds of reflection and workmanship—two human endeavors rarely, if ever, considered together—intersect, align, and collide? In this talk, Jackson will investigate the reflective mind’s largely unexamined role in artisanal practices once dismissed as tacit and “unthinking,” as well as the potential for considered thought itself to be newly envisioned as a skill-based practice. Drawing from her multidisciplinary forthcoming book The Handmade Mind, Jackson will discuss reflective states, such as creative reverie or the embrace of ‘not-knowing,’ which are essential to excellence in craftsmanship and creative problem-solving of all kinds. Her work has taken her from operating rooms to artisan studios, from neuroscience labs to Maker Faires. Expanding our treatment of ‘making as knowing,’ she argues, can offer a new lens with which to appraise the nature of intellectual flourishing at a high-stakes moment in humanity’s relations with the material world.