Course Description

“Ethics and aesthetics of the posthuman condition” is an Open Online Course starting 21st September 2016. The course will probe the depths of the human condition, as it stands after the ‘fall’ of traditional humanistic paradigms, and consider the effects and potentials of ‘the posthuman’. In the past decades, this category has become a more and more pressing issue across a number of disciplines, ranging from microbiology and genetics to philosophy and aesthetics. During the course, the students will be presented with a broad introduction to the historical and contemporary ethical and philosophical concepts relevant to the field, as well as a more focused and active perspective on the posthuman in the visual arts and literature, which will be the primary topics throughout the course. In this way, the course frames the phenomena of the posthuman in a new way, through the prism of aesthetics.

Structurally, the course is organized around a few master topics such as “Divided humanity”, “Grand Narratives” and “Human/Superhuman”, each of which features a short pre-recorded intro-lecture and comprises a week or two of student activities such as video uploads, creative photography, forum discussion, peer-reviewing, academic writing and live feedback sessions with the associated research group. In this fashion, the course is not organized traditionally around broadcast standard lectures but instead striving towards inclusion, discussion and activity.

The course is free to attend and open to all interested students around the world. The only requirements are access to free online platforms such as Google services, Facebook and Skype. In terms of work load the course is equivalent to 5 ECTS points. Active students, who attend the required online sessions and hand in the required material, will be awarded a completion certificate. ECTS credits are not awarded by Aarhus University, but students may use the certificate to negotiate credit transfer with their own institutions.