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Global Prehumanisms: An interdisciplinary conference

Event Type
Program in Medieval Studies
Oct 18, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018   All Day
Keynote speaker: Peggy McCracken, University of Michigan, Oct. 18; Ann Harris, DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.), Oct. 19.
Free and open to the public.
Eleonora Stoppino
Originating Calendar
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics Calendar

In the wake of the post-human turn, scholars across the humanities and sciences are  rethinking  humanity’s  place  in  the  world  via  technology,  biology,  ecology, and ethics. As we explore new paradigms that reject anthropocentrism and seek to better understand the imbrication of humans, environments, and technologies, we look to the past for alternate conceptions of humanity and its role.


Global Pre-humanisms will bring together a diverse group of international scholars  to  explore  how  the  pre-modern  world,  broadly  conceived,  can  offer models for decentering the human. Environmental cultivation and exploitation, interactions with flora and fauna, and depictions of cosmology—from Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to the Americas—reveal notions of “the human” that stand in stark contrast to post-Cartesian humanism. Likewise, the interplay among humans and materials objects, built environments, networks of commerce, and epidemiology and contagion illuminate the longue durée of the larger global exchanges that underwrite human dominance in the Anthropocene.


Global Pre-humanisms will foster conversations across traditional boundaries  within Medieval and Early Modern Studies and provide opportunities for collaboration with  our  colleagues  in  later  periods  to  create  a  global,  trans-historical,  and multidisciplinary dialogue about post-humanist futures.

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