Posthuman Politics

Dates: September 25 – 28, 2014
Location: Mytilini, Greece


What does the notion of “posthuman politics” entail? How would world politics, in global, local, environmental and personal/bodily scales, benefit from a posthumanist approach? We would like to explore the notion of relationality and connectivity among spaces and times for a new definition of posthuman politics based on non-dualistic practices that calls into question the dominant rationalistic, humanistic tradition. We would also like to explore the current state-of-things, opening up the discussion to the consequences of contemporary military practices such as the use of drones or ubiquitous surveillance, as well as contemporary economic practices and the conditions of current global capitalism. How has what Donna Haraway called Cyborg Politics, over 25 years ago, evolved in the meantime? Has post-cold-war philosophy and political economy led societies away from the norm of equality as much as from the appreciation of difference? Is posthumanism the philosophy of a new economy that has overcome modern capitalism? Does transhumanism lead to a new phase of neoliberal economics, or can it open up new fields of political ecology and relationality?

Another area of interest is the genealogical link between humanism and posthumanism. For instance, have the Enlightenment notions of the human condition, rights, identity, and dignity, lost their relevance? How does liberal subjectivity still operate in posthuman condition, as in social networks such as Facebook? Has the wish to overexpose oneself become the condition of a postmodern totalitarian control society? Has postmodern relativism brought an end to humanism? Gianni Vattimo has recently set the question: “can a new post-human humanity, by using and exploiting all the novelties of modern science and technology, realize itself better than within the frames of the past?”. He was reaching the conclusion that posthumanism can be revolutionary and that: “it is only in the name of the values forgotten and silenced by the past that we can build a new post-human humanity”. What aspects of humanism are still relevant for a posthuman approach? What different approaches do critical posthumanism, transhumanism and metahumanism bring to politics? Whereas critical posthumanism comes from an explicitly political tradition linked to feminism and other fields, what implicit politics may transhumanism point to? What are the ontological differences concerning political suggestions of metahumanists and critical posthumanists?

A third area of interest is the field of personal politics and pragmatics. How can a post-anthropocentric perspective apply to the practice of everyday living? We would like to reflect on how a pragmatic posthuman approach to everyday life may shift anthropocentric paradigms. For instance: is vegetarianism a condition to a posthuman, post-antropocentic approach to personal politics? How are environmental issues part of posthuman pragmatics? Proposals reflecting on these aspects through the spiritual, religious and psychological domains are welcome as well.

In general, we welcome papers related to various aspects of posthuman politics. Both trans- meta- and posthumanism can be related to a variety of specialized topics questions and disciplines:

  1. Philosophy,
  2. (Bio)Ethics
  3. Media Theories
  4. Contemporary political theory, political economy, contemporary Marxism
  5. The politics of contemporary art forms: Contemporary cinema, theater, music, performance, e.t.c.
  6. Social Anthropology
  7. Sociology
  8. Economics
  9. Ontology
  10. Pedagogical studies, psychology
  11. Contemporary informatics (fuzzy-logic, cloud computing, e.t.c.), info-communication, Infotainment and the politics of world wide web (safety, rights and copyrights, e.t.c.), biohacking, bodyhacking, genderhacking.
  12. Social media, computer games
  13. Technology, biotechnology
  14. Literature, literary studies, cultural theory
  15. Postcolonial studies, Queer studies, Disability studies.
  16. Practical Philosophy and Pragmatics
  17. Spirituality and Religion
  18. Comparative posthumanisms Trans- Meta- Post- and other -humanisms: differences and convergencies