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Ceremony for the presentation of the activities and perspectives of the Institute of Advanced Studies and of Collegio Superiore (2020)

The traditional Ceremony that opens the academic year of the Institute of Higher Studies. During the event Prof. Elizabeth Kowaleski Wallace holds the lecture "Redefining the Human for the 21st Century Human Sciences".

Mar 06, 2020 from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM

Where Aula Absidale di Santa Lucia, via de' Chiari, 25, 40124 Bologna

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During the Ceremony Prof. Elizabeth Kowaleski Wallace (Boston College, US), Visiting Fellow ISA, will hold the lecture: "Redefining the Human for the 21st Century Human Sciences"

The visit of Elizabeth Kowaleski Wallace  is organised in collaboration with Serena Baiesi from the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.


Abstract of the lecture "Redefining the Human for the 21st Century Human Sciences"

In the 21st century, we are now seeing powerful outside forces that shape and alter the experience of being human. How should current humanistic practice respond to these changing ideas? What happens now to traditional ideas at the heart of the human sciences? How might various humanistic practices incorporate emerging ideas about the human into their research and their pedagogy? My lecture will first summarize the medical, philosophic, and technological trends that have resulted in altered definitions of the human body and mind. I will highlight recent work in history, literature and elsewhere that integrates these trends. I will propose that transdisciplinarity—especially the crossover from the humanities and the social sciences to the sciences, as well as the reverse—models the way forward, out of the disciplinary impasse once characteristic of high poststructuralism. Last, while many hail the new human under the banner of the “posthuman,” I will contend that we as humanists gain more by remaining rooted and invested in a more capacious definition of what we are. In this way, we can explore new disciplinary paradigms, cross once intractable boundaries, take up expanded topics of inquiry, and guarantee our own relevance going forward.