Susan Goldin-Meadow - "Thinking with Your Hands" - Sandra Waxman

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Susan Goldin-Meadow

Susan Goldin-Meadow will discuss Thinking with Your Hands: The Surprising Science Behind How Gestures Shape Our Thoughts. She will be joined in conversation by Sandra Waxman. A Q&A will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the Book: We all know people who talk with their hands—but do they know what they’re saying with them? In Thinking with Your Hands esteemed cognitive psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow argues that gesture is vital to how we think, learn, and communicate. She shows us, for instance, how the height of our gestures can reveal unconscious bias, or how the shape of a student’s gestures can track their mastery of a new concept—even when they’re still giving wrong answers. She compels us to rethink everything from how we set child development milestones, to what’s admissible in a court of law, to whether Zoom is an adequate substitute for in-person conversation.  Sweeping and ambitious, Thinking with Your Hands promises to transform the way we think about language and communication. 

About the Author: Susan Goldin-Meadow became interested in gesture and language when she spent her junior year abroad from Smith College at the University of Geneva, taking courses from Jean Piaget and doing research with the team. She went on to do her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and then moved to the University of Chicago, where she has remained for 48 years. While at Chicago, she founded the journal Language Learning and Development and was associate editor of a number of journals (Developmental Psychology, Applied Psycholinguistics, Cognitive Science, Gesture). She has served as president of the Cognitive Development Society, the International Society for Gesture Studies, and the Association for Psychological Science. She was elected to the American Academy for Arts and Sciences in 2005 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2020. She lives in Hyde Park with her charming dog, Latke.

About the Interlocutor: Sandra Waxman is the Louis W. Menk Chair in Psychology, a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, and a founder of the Institute for Innovations in Developmental Science, all at Northwestern University. Waxman’s research is designed to discover how language and cognition come together in the infant and child mind. Adopting a developmental, cross-linguistic and cross-cultural lens, she seeks to identify what language, cognitive and communicative capacities are available to infants from the very start, and how these nascent capacities are sculpted by experience. By examining the vital interaction between nature and nurture, her work illuminates how infants’ earliest capacities are shaped by the linguistic, social and cultural communities in which they live. Waxman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association for Psychological Sciences and Cognitive Science Society. She has received numerous awards (Guggenheim Fellowship, Cattell Fellowship) and has served as a Visiting Professor in France and South Africa. She is currently co-editor of the Annual Review of Developmental Psychology.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op
5751 S Woodlawn
Chicago , IL 60615