Intensive seminar “Posthuman Studies”
Interdisciplinary seminar of Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts
Guest lecturer: Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, Professor of Philosophy at John Cabot University in Rome and the Director of the Beyond Humanism Network
Dates and time: 11–12 May 2022
Venue: Tallinn University, Uus-Sadama 5, room M-328.
Credits: 2 ECTS
Language of the course: English
Hosting institutions: Tallinn University; Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts
This intensive seminar introduces students to some of the most important ethical, philosophical, and artistic questions raised by the rapid technological, scientific, and cultural changes of our era. Students will tackle issues such as biological and genetic enhancement, artificial intelligence, the impacts of new media, and the future of employment in a technology-based society, exploring how these issues take us beyond the standard capacities and dualistic concepts of ‘human’ beings (as disembodied ‘minds’, for instance) into a ‘posthuman’ future. Students will examine the approaches that thinkers such as Katherine Hayles and Julian Savulescu have proposed for grappling with these issues.
About guest lecturer:
Prof. Dr. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is a tenured philosophy professor at John Cabot University in Rome and the director and co-founder of the Beyond Humanism Network, a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), a Research Fellow at the Ewha Institute for the Humanities at Ewha Womans University in Seoul and a Visiting Fellow at the Ethics Centre of the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. He is the editor of more than 10 essay collections as well as the sole author of the following monographs: Metaphysics without Truth (Marquette University Press 2007), Menschenwürde nach Nietzsche (WBG 2010), Transhumanismus (Herder 2016), Schöner neuer Mensch (Nicolai, 2018), Übermensch (Schwabe 2019), On Transhumanism (Penn State University Press 2020), We Have Always Been Cyborgs (Bristol University Press 2022), Philosophy of Posthuman Art (Schwabe 2022). In addition, he is Editor-in-Chief and Founding Editor of the Journal of Posthuman Studies (published by Penn State University Press since 2017). You find some more detailed information on his personal websites: www.sorgner.de and www.mousike.de
Day 1 (Wednesday, 11 May 2022)
- What is the difference between trans- and critical posthumanism
- What is the non-dualist understanding of human beings
- AI as social, cultural and ethical challenge
Day 2 (Tuesday, 12 May 2022)
- Cyborgs as social, cultural and ethical challenge
- Genome editing as social, cultural and ethical challenge
- The arts and the posthuman
By the end of the course the participants will be able to:
- recognize and analyze posthuman studies issues;
- analyze relevant recent cases, along with specific positions and arguments regarding them;
- analyze and employ broader theoretical approaches, debates and concepts in posthuman studies;
- develop informed, reasoned positions regarding these issues, cases and broader theoretical aspects;
- explain and analyze course material orally and in written forms;
- make appropriate use of original and academic resources and undertake guided research work.
All participants should read the following chapters from this book: Post- and Transhumanism, edited by Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner (Peter Lang 2014).
- Robert Ranisch & Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, “Introducing Post- and Transhumanism”, pp. 7–28
- Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, “Pedigrees”, pp. 29–48
- Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, “Religion”, pp. 49–72
- Yunus Tuncel, “Nietzsche”, pp. 83–99
- James Hughes, “Politics”, pp. 133–148
- Robert Ranisch, “Morality”, pp. 149–172
- Francesca Ferrando, “The Body”, pp. 213–225
- Andy Miah, “Bioart”, pp. 227–240
- Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, “Music”, pp. 299–310.
Requirements for participation
Reading the required book chapters is the prerequisite for participating in the course. The full book will be provided electronically to all registered participants.
Interested graduate students can apply for the seminar by filling out the registration form by 29 April 2022. The maximum number of seminar participants is 18 and students will be notified of their acceptance to attend the course.
2 ECTS credits will be awarded upon participating in the seminar on both days and reading the required parts of the book.
Participation in the course is free of charge. Accommodation and travel costs of the students of GSCSA will be reimbursed. If you have registered but are unable to attend you are required to let the organisers know.
Contact: Eva Kruuse – firstname.lastname@example.org
The event is supported by the (European Union) European Regional Development Fund (Tallinn University’s ASTRA project, TLU TEE – Tallinn University as a promoter of intelligent lifestyle).