The intensive course “Posthuman Ethics, Pain and Endurance” offers an overview of the contemporary debates about the ethical implications of posthumanism and the so-called ‘posthuman turn’ as well as Rosi Braidotti’s brand of critical feminist posthuman theory. The focus of the course this year will be on the relationship between the posthuman and the neo-materialist, vital ethics of affirmation, with special emphasis on how they deal with the complex issues around the lived experiences of pain, resistance, suffering and dying. Deleuze famously describes ethics as the aspiration to live an anti-fascist life. What does this mean for posthuman subjects situated between the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Sixth Extinction? In the brutal context of the Anthropocene and climate change, of rising populism, growing poverty and inequality, how does posthuman ethics help us to deal affirmatively with these challenges?
These issues will be outlined, explored and assessed by addressing the following questions: How does a vision of the posthuman subject as a transversal an affirmative process of interaction between human, non-human and inhuman forces, help us cope with the complex and often painful challenges of the contemporary world? How does it affect the feminist quest for social justice, as well as environmental sustainability? How does it intersect with indigenous epistemologies and anti-racist politics? How does the neo-Spinozist notion of endurance foster the project of constructing an affirmative ethics for posthuman subjects? How does the idea of endurance connect to the philosophical tradition of neo-stoicism, and to Foucault’s re-reading of it? How does a posthuman ethics of affirmation help us practically to confront the lived reality of pain, death and dying?
The basic textbook for the course is The Posthuman Glossary (Bloomsbury Academic 2018), edited by Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova, which all participants are expected to buy.
Please note that all participants are expected to have read Rosi Braidotti’s book The Posthuman (Polity Press 2013), and for an introduction to brutalism, the special issue of e-flux, co-edited by Rosi Braidotti, Timotheus Vermeulen et alia, which can be found here: http://www.e-flux.com/journal/83/
Prof. Dr. Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht University)
Dr. Rick Dolphijn (Utrecht University)
Lucas van der Velden (Sonic Acts)
Simone Bignall (Flinders, University of South Australia)