Posthuman Antiquities: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference | November 14-15, 2014

  • Hemmerdinger Hall, The Silver Center for Arts & Science, New York University

What can an inquiry into antiquity offer posthumanist thinking on the body, on nature and its relationship with technology, and on the fundamental interrelatedness of the physical, the biological, the psychical, the social and the artifactual?

Greek and Roman literary, philosophical, and medical texts are resplendent with sites in which “materiality” and “embodiment” (in current parlance) erupt into a field of questioning, deliberation, care, and experimentation. A return to antiquity is particularly pertinent in the wake of the philosophical demise of the sovereignty of the modern individual human subject and the rise not only of discourses such as deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and feminism, but also recent turns to chaos theory, complexity theory, vitalism, affect theory, environmental philosophy, and animal studies. As with these contemporary discourses, classical thinking displaces and complicates the modern notion of subjectivity, and finds movement and life inherently at work in both organic and inorganic phenomena.

This international conference seeks to foster conversation and cross-pollination between these vastly different periods positioned, as they both are, as transitional zones. We propose that through an encounter with “the Greeks,” we can not only re-imagine the trajectories and potentialities of contemporary posthumanist theorizing, but also interrogate narratives of origin, legacy, and linear temporality.

Keynote speakers: Claudia Baracchi (Milan-Bicocca) and Adriana Cavarero (Verona).

Speakers: Emanuela Bianchi (NYU), Sara Brill (Fairfield), Rebecca Hill (RMIT), Brooke Holmes (Princeton), Miriam Leonard (UCL), Michael Naas (DePaul), Ramona Naddaff (UC Berkeley), Mark Payne (Chicago), John Protevi (Louisiana State), Kristin Sampson (Bergen), Giulia Sissa (UCLA).

Conference organized by Emanuela Bianchi, Sara Brill and Brooke Holmes. Sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, New York University, with additional support from: Center for Ancient Studies at NYU; Gallatin Fund for Classics and the Contemporary World; College of Arts and Sciences, Fairfield University; Global Research Initiatives, Office of the Provost, NYU; Office of the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU; The Humanities Initiative at NYU; Office of the Dean for Humanities, NYU; Postclassicisms (Princeton University); Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU; Department of Philosophy, NYU; Department of Classics, NYU; Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU; Department of English, NYU; and the A.S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies, NYU.

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