Humanism and its prefixes (non-, trans-, post-, in-, a-) October 3-4, 2015
Berkeley CA, USA

Humanism and its prefixes
(non-, trans-, post-, in-, a-)

October 3rd-4th, 2015

Organized by the graduate students of UC Berkeley’s Department of Rhetoric

Doe Library, University of California, Berkeley

The debate about the human has long haunted the humanities. Humanism since antiquity has sought to define human nature’s essencewhile concomitantly situating the human being at the center of the universe as the “measure of all things.” This conference considers the fate of the human in the age of transhumanist intersubjectivity—signaled by the ongoing development of supplementary technologies designed to extend human capacities, such as AI and SynBio—attending to new political forms that challenge anthropocentrism and that emerge concurrently with anthropocentrism. Might inhuman conditions become the conditions of possibility for humanity?

We invite papers from a range of disciplines and approaches, including, but not limited to, anthropology, law, philosophy, critical theory, visual culture, intellectual history, history of science and technology, and literature.

Our goal is to bring into conversation the inhuman conditions in various parts of the globe on different scales and spaces and to think with these forms of mapping in order to understand their limits and what possible worlds they open politically and ethically. Specifically, we hope to interrogate the nature of biological life as undifferentiated from the form of existence proper to the human being as metaphysical and political subject.

Abstracts of 300 words on the topics listed below can be sent to :

-    The inhuman and/in the humanities
-    Humanism, transhumanism, posthumanism, and inhumanism
-    Animality and the divine
-    The carceral state and/or state violence
-    Ecology, anthropocene, and environment
-    The legacy of global capitalism
-    The inhuman in literature
-    Biosecurity, governance, necropolitics, and human rights
-    Gendered and racialized (in)human subjects, biopolitical constructions of race and racialized subjects
-    Queer and postcolonial critique

Abstracts due June 30th. Announcements by July 27th.
Department of Rhetoric
University of California, Berkeley