The Contested Post-Humanities - Rosi Braidotti (Boundaries: Public Lecture)
Centre for the Humanities, Utrecht University
The Contested Post-Humanities
In response to complex social, environmental and academic climate changes, this paper adopts an affirmative position. I want to defend the productivity of a posthuman future for the humanities, accounting for the tensions of our times in a grounded manner without being reductive and critical while avoiding negativity. To achieve this, I will develop the following argument: starting from the legacy and the limitations of the debate on humanism between Said and Foucault, I will provide a cartography of the critical humanities in the contemporary university. Then I will proceed to map out some of the ways in which the posthumanities are currently being developed in response to and in dialogue with our globally linked and technologically mediated societies that are marked by increasing polarizations in terms of access to economic, technological and environmental resources.
Braidotti received her B.A. from Australian National University in 1978, and her Ph.D. from the Université de Paris, Panthéon-Sorbonne in 1981. In 2005 she became a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and in 2009 an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; currently she is Distinguished University Professor and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. A world figure in gender and critical theory, she set up in 1989 the Network of Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies in Europe (NOI&SE) within the Erasmus Programme. Her many books, published throughout Europe, include Nomadic Subjects. Embodiment and Sexual difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory (Columbia, 1994), Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming (Polity, 2002), and, most recently, The Posthuman (Polity, 2013).