The three day conference ‘Thinking the human in the era of Enlightenment’ is an attempt to think through the enabling possibilities and discursive functions of the concept ‘humanity’ and its associated terms (L’Homme, Menschlichkeit, Humanität) during the long eighteenth century. It seeks to illuminate both the role that conceptions of the human played in the politics and culture of the period and the legacy those conceptions bequeathed to subsequent generations.
We invite papers that historicise Enlightenment conceptions of humanity from diverse perspectives, including but by no means restricted to the philosophy of history, anthropology, cosmopolitanism and its critics, natural and international law, theories of human difference and the ‘contact zones’ of travel and colonialism. We also invite papers which address the manner in which those conceptions were manifested, and contested, within a range of social and cultural spaces – from philosophy, to state policy, to the creative arts, and from Europe to the wider world.
Themes for 20 minute papers might include, but are not limited to:
- nature and culture
- theories of historical progress or decline in the long eighteenth century
- language theory in the long eighteenth century
- theories of sexual difference and gender roles in the long eighteenth century
- nationalism and cosmopolitanism
- conceptions of human rights
- the representation of human identity and difference
- the impact of cross-cultural contact on theories of humanity and vice versa
- the natural and the supernatural
- legacies of the Enlightenment.
Please send a title, 300 word abstract and short biography to
firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 27 November 2009.
Programs Manager (Conferences & Visiting Fellows)
Research School of Humanities
College of Arts and Social Sciences
Sir Roland Wilson Building #120, McCoy Circuit,
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia
T: + 61 2 612 54357 (Phone and Voicemail)
F: + 61 2 612 51380
CRICOS Provider #00120C
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