Winter School

8thWinterSchool of GSCSA
Tallinn University
28 January–1 February 2019
4–6 ECTS


The Humanities and Posthumanities: New Ways of Being Human

‘What is the human today?’ seems to be the key question in our age of the Anthropocene and increased technological powers. This fundamental question with all its ramifications can be made productive for a critical re-evaluation of the field of humanities and for a revision of some traditional distinctions in humanist epistemology.

The 8th Winter School of GSCSA invites a reflection on the ways in which the Anthropocene, understood at its broadest, and the rapid technological changes influence our understanding of humanities in its different branches. The Winter School is particularly interested in how ecological and environmental approaches intersect with debates on human enhancement, genome editing, biotechnology, transhumanism, and artificial intelligence. Technological-scientific prospects of machine superintelligence or radical enhancement represent a potential non-human domain different from that of ecological approaches focusing on animal kinship. At the same time, various strands of posthumanism explore the question of the technological and the ecological other both separately and in relation to each other.

The discussions about redefining the human has its consequences for the redefinition of the humanities. The Winter School seeks to explore the potential and the limits of the humanities in coping with ecological and technological nonhuman concerns. The possibility of a more-than-human or better-than-human society recalibrates whatever has been thought previously about humanist knowledge tailored to the human world. In order to respond to the challenge of redefining the human, the humanities will have to broaden its scope. Question about the extent and nature of this broadening is one of the focal points of the winter school.

Plenary speakers:
Prof. Stacy Alaimo (University of Texas at Arlington)
Prof. Ewa Domanska (Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan; Stanford University)
Prof. Steve Fuller (University of Warwick)
Dr. Zoltán Boldizsár Simon (Bielefeld University)
Prof. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner (John Cabot University in Rome)
Prof. Sverker Sörlin (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Dr. Timotheus Vermeulen (University of Oslo)
Dr. Thomas Schwarz Wentzer (Aarhus University)

Programme directors:
Dr. Eneken Laanes (Tallinn University / Under and Tuglas Literature Centre)
Prof. Marek Tamm (Tallinn University)

Programme manager:
Kristiina Sirkel (Tallinn University), e-mail (

Slam and student seminar coordinator:
Tiiu-Triinu Tamm (Estonian Institute of Historical Memory), e-mail (

This winter school is organised by the Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts, supported by the Tallinn University's ASTRA Project, TLÜ TEE, University of Tartu ASTRA Project PER ASPERA, Estonian Academy of Arts' ASTRA Project EKA LOOVKÄRG, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre's ASTRA Project EMTASTRA (European Union, European Regional Development Fund).