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19th March, 2013

The Challenge of Humanism Today

Event Details

19th March, 2013
Skeel Lecture Theatre, The People's Palace, Mile End Campus


Professor Julia Kristeva

Humanism, emerging from Greek philosophy, Judaism and Christianity, crystallised in the Renaissance and developed particularly in the eighteenth century. Humanist thought opens horizons by promising contemporary forms of solidarity and renewal, while also taking directions that have been fiercely criticised by certain contemporary philosophers. After a brief evocation of the history of humanism (Erasmus, Diderot, Sade and Freud), Professor Kristeva will consider Sartre and Heidegger before proposing a re-reading of contemporary humanism from Freud onwards. The lecture will also explore new dimensions of humanism including hyperconnection, adolescence, women’s rights and debates around maternity. With the return of religions, a reconstitution of humanism appears necessary in the light of what Professor Kristeva considers to be an anthropological need, namely the inseparability of the need to believe and the desire to know

Julia Kristeva is a psychoanalyst, literary and cultural critic, and novelist. Bulgarian by birth, her career has unfolded in France, with extensive stays in North America where she was Visiting Professor at Columbia University and the New School, New York, as well as at the University of Toronto. She has also been Head of the “Ecole doctorale Langues, Littératures, Images’ at the University of Paris 7, and is the author of an important report, commissioned by the French government, on the cultural effects of France and the French language.

Professor Kristeva will answer questions on her talk and more generally on her work.

For more information please visit the Queen Mary website.

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