Nima Bassiri

Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities

University of Chicago

Nima Bassiri works on the history and philosophy of the human sciences and medicine, with a particular emphasis on the mind and brain sciences since the eighteenth century. His current research focuses on the role neurological discourse has played in the historical and conceptual refashioning of the self throughout the nineteenth century, particularly in terms of how it augmented and transformed earlier, classical conceptions of personal identity. His book manuscript, Pathologies of the Neural Self: Personal Identity and the Brain, 1694-1894, examines the historical origins of the neurological consolidation of personhood, while also responding to recent debates within STS scholarship concerning the role the neurosciences and clinical psychiatry have played throughout the past several decades in defining (and redefining) selfhood. Nima’s teaching and scholarship additionally draw on the history of philosophy and psychology, specifically in regards to transformations in the theory of knowledge and conceptions of subjective experience from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Articles related to his current book project have appeared in journals including Journal of the History of Ideas, Critical Inquiry, and Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Nima completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to the University of Chicago, he was a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University and an ACLS New Faculty Fellow at Duke University.