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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Theme 1: Globalism and Identity Formation

  • The dynamics of identity and belonging.
  • Cosmopolitanism, globalisation and backlash.
  • The humanities and the construction of place
  • First nations and indigenous peoples in first, third and other worlds.
  • Human movement and its consequences: immigration, refugees, diaspora, minorities.
  • Ecological sustainability, cultural sustainability, human sustainability.
  • Homo faber: the human faces of technology.
  • Global/local, universal/particular: discerning boundaries.
  • Differences: gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, race, class.

Theme 2: The Modern and the Postmodern

  • Defining the modern against its ‘others’.
  • The postmodern turn.
  • Nationalism, ethnonationalism, xenophobia, racism, genocide: the ‘ancient’ and the modern.
  • Governance and politics in a time of globalism and multiculturalism.
  • The causes and effects of war.
  • Metropolis: the past and future of urbanism.
  • Geographies of the non-urban and remote in the era of total globalisation.

Theme 3: The ‘Human’ of the Humanities

  • The human, the humanist, the humanities.
  • What is history?
  • The philosophy of ends or the end of philosophy?
  • Anthropology, archaeology and their ‘others’.
  • The work of art in an age of mechanical reproduction.
  • Literary-critical: changing the focal points.
  • Ways of meaning: languages, linguistics, semiotics.

Theme 4: Future Humanities, Future Human

  • Science confronts humanity.
  • Humanities teaching in higher education: fresh approaches and future prospects.
  • Schooling humanities: introducing history, social studies, philosophy, language, literature and the humanities to children.
  • Technologies in and for the humanities.
  • The purpose of the humanities in an era of contested ends.
  • The humanities in the ‘culture wars’: questions of ‘political correctness’ and the cultural ‘canon’.