12th Beyond Humanism Conference
Critical Posthumanism and Transhumanism
Antagonism or Convergence?
Mytilini – Lesvos, 1st- 4th of July 2020
University of the Aegean, School of Social Sciences, Department of Cultural Technology and Communication
CALL FOR PAPERS
For the third time, the Beyond Humanism Conference Series will be hosted by the University of the Aegean. The 2nd BHC, ten years ago, as well as the 7th BHC 5 years ago took place in Mytilini, too. In the meantime, Posthuman Studies has turned into established and intensely debated academic discipline. Academics, researchers, scientists and artists have undergone a series of transformations and continuous change of their theories and arguments in relation to which side they are standing, e.g. [Critical] Posthumanism, Metahumanism or Transhumanism. The annual Beyond Humanism Conference Series was central for the development of posthuman reflections. It started eleven [plus] years ago in Belgrade and so far eleven conferences of the series have taken place all over the world. Posthuman reflections have met a lot of challenges related to the inclusion of new approaches. They also had to dynamically adapt to the flow of continuously changing political realities.
The forthcoming 12th Beyond Humanism Conference will take place in Mytilini, Lesvos, a place with a special posthuman interest due to consequences of a continuing international political and humanitarian crisis. It draws an extra attention to new arguments about the evolution of the relation of critical post-, and transhumanism, putting forth questions on their hypothetical ongoing “antagonism”, or potentials for maybe unexpected “convergences”. Special attention will also be given to metahumanism, whose guiding nodal points were publicly presented for the first time 10 years ago at the 2nd BHC.
In the forthcoming 12th Beyond Humanism Conference several questions arise as topics to be further discussed:
- Re-evaluating the contribution of pre-modern and modern: Spinoza and Bergson, Heidegger, Russsel and Habermas, Benjamin.
- Re-evaluating the relevance of postmodern thinking for Posthuman debates, e.g. Lyotard, Wittgenstein, Deleuze [and Guattari], Baudrilliard, Virilio, Flusser, Foucault, Danto, e.t.c..
- Re-evaluating Marxist approaches for posthuman challenges, e.g. Gramci, Adorno, Althusser, Horkheimer, Lukacs, Jameson and Harvey.
- Re-evaluating Phenomenological thought: Husserl, Merleau-Ponty.
- Re-evaluating epistemological questions of natural sciences: Jean Cavallies, Gaston Bachelard, George Ganguilem, Thomas Kuhn.
- Re-evaluating the history of the beyond humanism movements, e.g. Darwin, Nietzsche, Russian Cosmism, Freud, Julian Huxley.
- Re-evaluating science: The contribution of mathematics and artificial intelligence research and the vast possibilities opened by the writings of Marvin Minsky, Joseph Weizenbaum, Hans Moravec.
- Re-evaluating the arts and literature in the context of posthuman insights, e.g. contemporary art, science fiction, horror literature, bioart, digital arts, and the posthuman
- Re-evaluating posthuman pop cultures, e.g. cinema, documentary, comics, series,….
- Re-evaluating posthuman performance arts, e.g. dance, theatre, performances, metaformances….
Moreover, submissions on the following topics are particularly appreciated:
- Emphasis on non-western cultures, philosophies and religions (African culture, Buddhism)
- Immigration and posthuman issues. The contemporary refugee wave.
- Critical approaches to all meanings and nuances of «gender» as well as post-gender theories
- Critical approaches to trans-sepecies ontologies and affects including companion species (The UoA in Lesvos is full of dogs that participate in the entire space and thus very adecuate place for this reflection)
- Alternative forms of embodied thinking and thinking as movement, and practices to mobilise it,
- Open discussions on potential red lines in the ethical and ontological discussion of technology
- Autonomous algorithms, AI and Big Data from critical perspectives
- Dialectics between theory and technology
- Non-dualistic ontologies of becoming and post-, meta-, and transhumanism.
- Ontological reflections of presocratic Ionian philosophers and their relationship to beyond humanism movements, including focus on philosophies of movement and becoming and their reltion to metahumanism (a trip to ancient Ionia is proposed by some participants for after the conference, (info here: htpps://philomobile.com firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Reflections on the topic critical post- and transhumanism: antagonism or convergence, and the metahumanist alternative
- Physics and natural sciences and their ‘objectivity’.
- History and the notion of ‘progress’, e.g. non-progressive histories, personal history, oral histories, big history….
- Ethical code(s): Relational ethics versus liberal ethics of autonomy?
- Posthuman types of religiosity
- Economics and emerging technologies
- War and innovation
- Deep-learning and AI
- Ethics of space: beyond geocentric ethical theories
Please send us abstracts for workshops, presentations, artworks, performances, concerts, and anything else which falls into the range of issues which ought to be highlighted in the context of posthuman discourses. Particularly this year, non normative formats and proposals, including performtive lectures, performances installations, workshops, or other are welcome. At least two rooms for alternative and ongoing non-standard formats of proposals and presentations will be provided.
We also invite you to take inspiration for these proposals from any of the 10 paragraphs of the Metahumanist Manifesto www.metahumanism.net – whose 10th anniversary we will be celebrating.
You are also invited to take into account topics that have a special relevence in the site of Lesvos: Refugees, archeology and ancient thought (Aristotle invented biology in Lesvos), water and the Aegean Sea, dogs and transpecies relations, and queer (lesbian) communities of the island amongst other. Here, you find the video of the 9th Beyond Humanism Conference, Rome, 2017. The linked video demonstrates the atmosphere during the 9th Beyond Humanism Conference and exemplifies the diversity of Posthuman Studies.
By the way, there is a new high class book series dedicated to Posthuman Studies, too:
The oldest publishing house in the world, Schwabe publishing (founded 1488), deeply rooted in the humanist tradition, embraces the intellectual engagement with one of the most significant debates of our time: Posthuman Studies: From Critical Posthumanism to Transhumanism. The series explicitly targets the international audience. All books will be peer-reviewed, copyedited, and internationally distributed. Please submit your manuscipt to Prof. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, if you want it to be considered for this book series: www.sorgner.de
Here you find some more information about this newly launched high-class book series:
Please also consider the following book series dedicated to the topic “Beyond Humanism”:
If you merely wish to publish a paper, please consider submitting it to the “Journal of Posthuman Studies” which was launched by Penn State University Press in 2017. It is the first academic journal explicitly deDicated to the posthuman:
You always find interesting posthuman news at the following website:
MATTERS RELATED TO THE ORGANISATION OF THE CONFERENCE
The members of the Organising committee are:
Evi Sampanikou (hosting the event)
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner
Jaime del Val
Abstracts (for presentations, artworks, performances, concerts…) will be sent to email@example.com
- We invite English abstracts up to 500 words, to be sent in MS Word and PDF format to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Files should be named and submitted in the following manner:
Submission: First Name Last name. docx (or .doc) / .pdf
Example: “Submission: MaryAndy.docx”
Abstracts should be received by the 28th of February 2020.
Acceptance notifications will be sent out by by the 31st of March 2020.
All those accepted will receive information on the venue(s), local attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and planned receptions and events for participants.
Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes. Each presenter will be given 10 additional minutes for questions and discussions with the audience, for a total of 30 minutes.
Conference fees: 65 euros till 30th of April 2020 (early bird) and 100 euros (later). Contact person for fees: email@example.com
Travel and Accommodation (ATTENTION PLEASE):
- TRAVEL: You can get into any flight to Athens or Thessaloniki which is the easy part of your trip. Internal flights in Greece are much more expensive than the external flights, so you have to book quite early to get a ticket to a normal price. There are quite a few flights from Athens to Lesvos every day, fewer flights from Thessaloniki. There is the option of coming to Lesvos by ferry at a price of around 50 euros (about 10 hours travel).
- ACCOMMODATION: Ensuring accommodation in Lesvos is difficult during recent years due to the refugee issue. Most of the city hotels have an all-year booking by NGOs or Frontex. The University of the Aegean will be offering the Students’ Residence facilities with a capacity of about 150 rooms that can be booked to academic visitors at that specific period at a very low price. The number of rooms will be decided by the demand. Also you can use the usual booking platforms for AirBnB choices and also some hotels and appartments. News on Accommodation will be announced in due time.
- CAMPUS FACILITIES: Meals and coffee plus snacks will be arranged at the campus for the participants.
- CONFERENCE DINNER(S): to be announced