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Critical Life Studies

This theme aims to take up the aftermath of the so-called "death of the human" and the microontologies hidden by the humanist veneer. Here the team will investigate the ways in which “life” might be counterintuitive to ethico-politics. Insofar as the concept “life” is a defining trope in the humanities, it becomes the ‘that which cannot but be maintained as sacred,’ an irreducible given, and signals an adherence to a basic form of humanism. In thinking beyond the human and humanism, we must also relinquish a certain claim to life as thus sacred. For, how can we account for the immaterial forces, the pre-accelerated motor of self-overcoming, and the ultimate inevitability of human extinction in the face of this sanctity of life? This culture of life includes such discourses as: the politics of right to life, quality of life campaigns, considerations about whose lives matter, and even algorithms to attach a financial value to a person’s life for the purposes of insuring it. There will be several projects under this strand

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Last updated: Thu Jan 29 14:20:23 CET 2015