Globinar Series: Thursday Webinar, every two weeks, from 22 September 2022 at 5pm (CEST).
The notion of "Humanities" bears the traces of a bygone academic pedigree: it evokes a set of compartmentalized disciplines focused on the study of the classics – belles lettres, philosophy or history – as opposed to science (social or hard).
These boundaries between disciplines no longer make sense in the face of the urgency of the humanistic and ecological transition. The humanities as we envision them are rooted in the sharing of critical knowledge and building bridges between disciplines, but also between humans, nature and artwork.
This imperative of humanity is necessarily political. Modernity has built the "splendid otherness of nature" on the privileges of race, gender or class. We now must imagine a new ethic, reinvent the meaning of the common good, rethink our place in the city and on a planet that includes non-human beings.
How can we do this? By promoting the idea of politics as a sensitive experience that can be shared across cultures and places; by engaging the academic community as a whole in a reflection without borders on the major issues of the contemporary world that future generations will have to face (the impact of new technologies, the degradation of the environment, new forms of wealth production, contemporary violence, the return of religion, urbanization, migration, etc).
How can we do this? Not by producing positive truths, dry expertise, but by appealing to the imagination. Through the art of fiction, images and stories that expose an embodied humanity struggling with political anxiety, the vicissitudes of power, and the defence of human values.
How can we do this? Through a specific mode of reflection and pedagogy: we are convinced that our critical approach requires the confrontation of ideas across places, languages and cultures: only decentring and distrust towards preconceived ideas has the heuristic and innovative potential we seek. The power of conviction, the plastic intensity, the stylistic density of a work is often more likely to stimulate the imagination of our students, but also to worry them and – perhaps, it is our hope – to incite them to engage as citizens.
The Circle will thus be based on a dual pedagogical and research axis. The dialogue between all the social sciences present at Sciences Po, supported by the pedagogical cooperation and innovation of its representatives, will ensure that knowledge circulates without going round in circles. We are counting on the double benefit of student participation and dialogue with our colleagues in other disciplines. The collective intergenerational and interdisciplinary research thus conceived is a constantly renewed trajectory, made of back and forth, modest and reflexive: re-searching means returning to the starting point to better leave. We also aspire to be comparative, multilingual and pluricultural.
The teaching component will include the steps of an innovative scientific transdisciplinary pathway. Co-taught courses will be given in different languages, on the different campuses of the Collège universitaire, respecting their cultural areas of reference, which is one of the major assets of Sciences Po in its pursuit of multiplicity. The challenge is to play with the difference in origins and horizons, the cultural scripts that sometimes confine us, and to confront the necessary but enriching epistemological diversity. The student of tomorrow is not a cultural relativist, but rather will master the pluriversity of perspectives. The transmission of top-down knowledge is ideally followed by the mobilization of performative methodologies borrowed from the arts and new technologies.
The scientific part of our project is divided into multiple programs, some of which will be hosted by the Maison des Arts. Doctoral students, the young researchers who will be called upon to give substance to the Humanities in the city, are particularly targeted but also solicited. Under the acronym of the new Political Humanities, and co-organized by professors and researches in Political Theory, Law, and History alike, an ambitious annual transdisciplinary Globinar will take place in 2022/2023.
Under the name RECITALS, it reflects the importance of both the narrative and performative aspects of knowledge. Delivered in English and French, and to be accompanied by multilingual podcasts to reach a wide international audience, the theme of the conference will be "Foundations, Fictions and Translations", which allow different disciplinary perspectives to intersect in an open conversation on the ethical, aesthetic, political, ecological and genealogical dimensions of our plural humanities.
At the end of the year, the academic community will gather around the "Circular Readings" - a recital event that will allow all our students, doctoral students and teaching-researchers to close and reopen, in a final but impermanent act, the various scientific, dialogical, literary, performative and, above all, human experiences that have been undertaken throughout the academic year.