Netherlands, Utrecht

Posthuman Convergences: Theories and Methodologies

when 17 August 2020 - 21 August 2020
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 550

The intensive course “Posthuman Convergences” offers an overview of contemporary debates around the ‘posthuman turn’, in the framework of Braidotti’s brand of critical theory. It explores the implications of the posthuman convergence of posthumanism and postanthropocentrism for the constitution of subjectivity, the production of knowledge and the practice of the academic humanities. How can scholarship in the critical humanities move beyond the old dualities in which Man/Anthropos defined himself, beyond the hierarchical production of sexualized, racialized and naturalized others as excluded from humanity? To what extent do current posthuman forms of knowledge critique anthropocentrism and Eurocentric humanism?

Posthuman Convergences: Theories and Methodologies logo
The 2020 intensive course will focus on “Posthuman Convergences” and will be based on Braidotti’s new monograph Posthuman Knowledge. The other textbook adopted for the course is 2018 Posthuman Glossary.

The aim of this interdisciplinary course is to track the convergences between different branches of posthuman knowledge production. It starts by offering a selected overview of contemporary scholarship on the ‘posthuman turn,’ notably its applications and implications in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The posthuman turn is defined as the convergence, within the context of advanced or cognitive capitalism, of post-humanism on the one hand and post-anthropocentrism on the other. Although these lines of critical thought often overlap, they are distinct phenomena both in terms of their theoretical genealogies and their practical applications. Their current convergence is triggering a number of qualitative developments of a very original nature, which we will try to study.

A related aim of the course is to introduce and apply Braidotti’s specific brand of neo-materialist, critical feminist posthuman theory. This approach rests on two main concepts: the emphasis on the embodied and embedded, relational and affective structure of subjectivity and the grounded and accountable nature of knowledge claims. These aspects will be connected through the emphasis on perspectival politics of locations on the one hand and affirmative relational ethics on the other. To strengthen this aspect of the course, participants will be required to read Braidotti’s classic text The Posthuman (Polity Press, 2013) prior to the start of the course.

In order to evaluate posthuman convergences and knowledge(s), the course will present, explore and assess the defining features of a selected number of fields within the fast-growing Posthumanities, such as the Environmental, Digital and Medical Humanities. Key questions are: what is the object of enquiry of these emergent areas of research? How do these new fields of knowledge affect the constitution of subjectivity and practice of academic research today? Mindful of the differences in power and access that structure the debate on the posthuman, we will also investigate how posthuman knowledge(s) can assist us in moving beyond the patterns of exclusion of the sexualized, racialized and naturalized “others” that were not recognized as belonging fully to humanity and were also disqualified as subjects of knowledge.

Next to outlining the main features of the Posthumanities and studying their implications and applications, the course will also endeavour to present in a collaborative fashion – through panels and tutorials – a selection of concrete case-studies drawn from the Environmental, Digital and Medical Humanities. These cases will be presented by teams of participating scholars from a range of disciplines and interdisciplinary areas of research, notably: literature and cultural studies, pedagogy, media and technology studies, legal theory, philosophy and the arts. Throughout the course, special efforts will be made to highlight the crucial contribution of art practices to all areas of posthuman scholarship and research.

Course leader

Prof. dr. Rosi Braidotti

Fee info

EUR 550: The fee for non-students is €550. Students will receive a partial fee waiver of €200, resulting in a total fee of €350. Students are asked to provide proof of their student status in their application documents. Without this proof, it is not possible to receive the partial fee waiver.
EUR 200: Housing fee

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on course website