Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

the re/turn of the nonhuman in the study of culture concepts – concerns – challenges


27.05.2013 09:00 bis 28.05.2013 19:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)


International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC), room 001, Alter Steinbacher Weg 38; Alexander von Humboldt Guest House, Rathenaustraße 24 a

Name des Kontakts

Telefon des Kontakts

+49 641 / 99-30 041

Termin zum Kalender hinzufügen


More often than not, academic research today tries to solve the issues of the 21st century with concepts of the 20th in institutional frameworks of the 19th. The humanities are a case in point: important as they have been in the past and continue to be in the present, the very term ‘humanities’ can be seen as somewhat problematic today, as it implies an exclusive focus on humans and humanity. There is, however, hardly an issue of cultural or social concern today, which does not involve complex entanglements of human and nonhuman actors.


Turning towards the nonhuman in the study of culture, however, is not just about “contemporary thought”—it’s about politics, knowledge, and embodied experience both in the present and throughout history. Thus a “nonhuman turn” in the study of culture might just as well be described as a “re/turn of the nonhuman” , as research on the cultural and social relations of human and nonhuman actors can be traced to a variety of different intellectual and theoretical developments moving back through the last decades of the 20th century and well before.


This is the first in a series of conferences at the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) designed to identify and discuss emerging topics for the study of culture. Together with C21, this first event is meant to address the future of 21st century studies by exploring how the re/turn of the nonhuman might provide a way forward for the contemporary study of culture in light of the difficult challenges of the 21st century.