Venue: Venice International University
Dates: June 9-11, 2022
By definition, environmental humanists seek to explore the bond between humans and nature, and they dedicate themselves to promoting ecological policies and practices that are socially just. Yet who is the “human” at the heart of environmental humanities?
This conference seeks to understand what it means to be human and to recognize how the human transforms in light of new trends in the medical, technological, and philosophical fields. It also raises the question of what we are willing to share with whom in a moment when urgent social trends—including migration brought on by ecological catastrophe—significantly complicate a progressive agenda.
- How is the human redefined in relation to the accelerated transformations of the ocean and global sea level rise?
- Furthermore, what do we gain by understanding humans as inextricably connected to other species in a multi-species setting? How do we advance a flexible and capacious definition of the human, one that is capable of considering all terrestrial beings?
- Lastly, how do we alter our disciplinary and classroom practices to incorporate new definitions of the human?
This three-day conference will explore such questions and will facilitate multi-disciplinary conversation among those dedicated to creating flexible, workable definitions of humanity directed toward social justice. With attention to pedagogy and public intellectualism, it seeks ways to ensure the broadest possible dissemination of twenty-first century humanistic ideals. In short, it seeks to make the case that, far from being obsolete, a twenty-first century humanism that responds to evolving notions of the human remains absolutely crucial to our shared planetary future.
Conference participants will be invited to a guided tour of the Venice Biennale 2022 to consider how international artists have responded to our themes. Additional tours of the lagoon in the context of the Blue Humanities will also be available.
Keynote speaker: Serenella Iovino, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Coordinator: Prof. Elizabeth Kowaleski Wallace, Boston College
Other Faculty: Shaul Bassi, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia and Helmuth Trischler, Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society at LMU