The Humanities in the 21st Century – 5th May
The contemporary Humanities have answered promptly to the societal challenges of our times by setting up programs, curricula, centers and institutes in new fields of enquiry, which are known as the New Humanities, or the Posthumanities. The Environmental Humanities raises issues linked to the debates on the so-called Anthropocene, the place of humans in planetary history, and their ability to self-destruct and the motivation to construct sustainable futures. The Digital Humanities connects the debate about the new digital media and information technologies to the civic mission of the university to train responsible, active and informed citizens. The Biomedical Humanities move beyond bioethics to develop an interdisciplinary field that studies the impact of genomics, synthetic biology, stem-cell research, but also the neural sciences, not only on medical practice, but also on society as a whole. The Public Humanities aims at using the potential of the humanities to connect to a broader societal purpose and outreach. Assessing heritage, civic culture and traditions, the public humanities try to (re)connect the humanistic studies which gathered its information from human society back to that society. This section aims to explore the following issues: what examples of best practices can we identify in the new Humanities in European institutions of Higher Education? What is the “humanities” component of these “new humanities”? What meta-patterns do emerge from these developments? Which convergences do we witness between them? What institutional changes and transdisciplinary approaches do they develop?