Dr. Howard Hendrix, a professor with Fresno State’s Department of English and an award-winning author, gave a TEDx Talk on Saturday, April 15, to a crowd of 400 people in the University Theatre at the University of California at Riverside.

Hendrix’ talk was titled “Saving Private Mind: Madness, Consciousness, Privacy.”

Howard Hendrix

“It proposes a new theory of mind that suggests privacy precedes individual human consciousness and is crucial to its functioning,” Hendrix said. “The talk comes at this through my familiarity with the lives and works of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick and my brother Vincent John ‘Jay’ Hendrix, both of whom were arguably schizophrenics.”

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues.

In the spirit of the TED mission (“Ideas worth spreading”), the TEDx Program is designed to help communities, organizations and individuals to spark conversation and connection through local TED-like experiences. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED.

To be considered for inclusion in this year’s event, Hendrix had to submit a proposal, then submit a video draft of his speech. He was one of five presenters at the UC Riverside event.

Hendrix’s most recent article, “Trigger Warning:  Academic Standards Apply,” is out in print and online at Inside Higher Ed. His novella, “The Girls With Kaleidoscope Eyes,” was just published in the May/June issue of the science fiction magazine Analog. The novella, which received top billing, is about machine intelligence and future human evolution.

In addition to teaching at Fresno State, Hendrix has published six novels, four nonfiction books, some 50 works of shorter fiction and 20 pieces of shorter nonfiction.  He won the 2010 Dwarf Stars Award for Short Poetry from the Science Fiction Poetry Association, for the poem “Bumbershoot.”

Hendrix and his wife, Dr. Laurel Hendrix – also a professor with the English department faculty – live near Shaver Lake, where they are both also longtime volunteer firefighters with the Pine Ridge Volunteer Fire Department and also serve on the board of the Highway 168 Fire Safe Council.  Hendrix also serves as president of the Pine Ridge Property Owners Association.