This topic is part of the suite of multidisciplinary Grand Challenges topics aiming to focus on a range of complex issues facing the world. Throughout this topic, you will critically examine challenging societal contexts and consider how to best tackle them.
The birth of the modern age in the West placed the human at the centre of all understanding. And yet, history shows that the status of the human is anything but transparent. Humanism has been bound up with violence and exclusion; witness to the pathologies of imperialism, racism, and sexism. But it has also stimulated technological progress and marvels of cultural production. Some suggest we are entering the age of the ‘post-human’, as advances in artificial intelligence and challenges to the nature of personal identity show the limitations of the category. The aim of this topic is to consider the human not as the source and summit of our understanding, but as a contested concept that is embedded in a context that is natural, cultural, and political – in a word, global.
This topic aims to: