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ERCC Conference Inventing the Human
Conference 2023: 'Inventing the Human' - University of Melbourne & Online
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Human / Nonhuman

(Provisionally) 28-30 November 2024
University of Melbourne, Parkville

Continuing the conversations begun in ‘Inventing the Human,’ this conference explores the intersection between human and non-human worlds, with the latter understood as ‘nature’ (animals, pathogenic organisms, and environments), but also as machines (networks, systems, media and technology). These categories are normally used to divide the human from its non-human others and, in so doing, enable humans to orient themselves in the world. However, in the wake of climate change, advances in our understanding of living systems, and a sea-change in our understanding of technical objects, the boundaries that once defined the human have begun to erode, raising the question of what then does it mean to be human in the 21st century? What stories can be told? What cosmograms drawn? And what forms should ethics, art, and politics now take? — particularly if, as Timothy Morton suggests in Hyperobjects (2013), the human world, defined as a space quarantined from both nature and machines, may already have come to an end.

Image Credit: Bellerby & Co Globe used in Yinka Shonibare installation titled: Champagne Kids (Wikimedia Commons)

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