Announcements Lectures

University of Wisconsin’s "What is Human?" initiative

The number of interesting conferences and lectures in medical anthropology and STS available online is growing steadily.  In addition to not having the time to attend all of these conferences, we soon won’t have time to listen to all of them online.

The latest one I’ve come across is a project at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Humanities Center called “What is Human?”  Like other, similar recent initiatives, this one focuses on exploring the transformations which ideas of the human are undergoing as a result of recent advances in the biological sciences and technologies.  In their own words:

“The initiative fosters revitalization of intellectual and institutional relationships between the sciences and the humanities. Aiming to break down what C.P. Snow called a “Two Cultures” division between the humanities and the sciences, WIH creates a new interdisciplinary learning community and public intellectual dynamic. WIH fosters collaborative research partnerships across the disciplines. We also explore collaborative scientific and humanistic strategies and resources for funding and project development.”

A number of events have been organized under the auspices of this project and audio from nearly all of them is available on the website.  There was a series of three symposia and a conference, which brought together many very interesting scholars.  There’s also a “Biopolitics Seminar Series” which so far has included talks by Heather Paxton (“Reverse-Engineering Terroir: Locating the Value of American Artisan Cheese”) and Didier Fassin (“Subjectivity without subject?: The Aporia of Bearing Witness to Violence in Palestine”), with more on the way.

One reply on “University of Wisconsin’s "What is Human?" initiative”

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I just joined the WIH mailing list. Fascinating and important work!

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