Human Progress in the Age of Post-Modernity and Globalisation: Rediscovering the Humanities
Dr. Suzanne LaLonde, Dr Luis Rodriguez-Abad.
This workshop approaches the question of human progress in the age of post-modernity and globalisation by exploring the development of the Humanities in art and literature. We first examine images of artists and writers in self-portraits and Intimate Literature, in order to detect visions of society, and perhaps, the sense of optimism that came from the image of the creative person as noble and perfectible. We then provide several explanations for the crisis in the Humanities and illustrate how self-portraiture and Intimate Literature reflect it. In the second part of the workshop, we explore alternative visions that have challenged humanistic philosophy and underline how these visions distorted the idea of human progress. This leads us to question whether the Western humanistic tradition remains a useful optical piece of the global human condition. While Western culture might have seen itself as perfectible in terms of the humanistic tradition, can the same be said about non-Western cultures, such as Arab culture? We argue that there is a critical need to recapture the threads of humanism, to rebuild the legacy of reason and sensibility, life and progress, and that intellectuals must look at the world crisis with clear vision, rather than advocate a return to insidious portraits of the human condition. With God dead, and the nation-state a threat to human survival, the humanist, enriched by the powerful presence of the educated woman, must look deeper within to find meaning and pathways out of the crisis.
Dr. Suzanne LaLonde (United Kingdom)
Department of Modern Languagues LLC
Ph. D. in French Language and Literature--University of Maryland; French Tutor at Cardiff University; Specialises in Intimate Literature and Existentialism
Dr Luis Rodriguez-Abad (United States)
University of Texas-Brownsville
(60 min. Workshop, English)