‘The world found nothing sacred in the abstract nakedness of being human,’ so wrote Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). Arendt’s questioning of the adequacy of the category ‘human’ in rights discourse in the wake of the Nazi-era terror and the plight of the stateless, resonates in the twenty-first century in ways unimaginable in her time.
Not only are we witnessing a staggering increase in stateless and displaced people around the globe – 65 million by some current estimates – and the sheer inadequacy of the language of human rights in addressing this crisis. We also stand on the threshold of a transformation in the very meaning of the term ‘human,’ as it comes under increasing pressure from anthropogenic climate change and the accelerated biotechnological transformation of life worlds. Conceiving the human as a geological agent that has irrevocably transformed our planet, or as an intelligent being co-extensive with advanced computational machines, is to question the modern foundations of our critical thought and practice. The human is entangled with the natural and the technological in ways inconceivable even half a century ago. And yet, migrants and radical movements such as Black Lives Matter or Ni una menos still advocate their claims as ‘humans’.
The 2018 edition of the Academy will explore theories of race, violence, new materialism, technology and the environment as they bear on the question of what it means to be human in our time.
Up to 40 participants will be selected and required to attend all plenary lectures, the two morning courses, and at least one afternoon class per week.
For the second time this year will be active the Bologna Social Practice Lab directed by Pedro Lasch in collaboration with Rossella Mazzaglia. Up to 20 participants at the Summer School will be selected to contribute, along with students at University of Bologna, artists, performers, and activists, to a social art project called Polit(t)ico: Interventions for Bologna (2017-2018). If you are interested, do not forget to check the box in the application form and attach your material in the pdf among your application documents.
The Academy and other sponsors offer several grants covering fees, accomodation and/or travel.
Applications must be submitted by April 9, 2018 at 3.00 pm (GMT+1).
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org