The Humanities in the World 2018


The seminar aims to celebrate and discuss how the humanities, particularly since the mid-20th century, have delivered concepts that help us understand the world around us – not only by way of critique, but also by offering concepts and frameworks to think about challenges and solutions.

This impact can be both subtle and pervasive. Often humanistic concepts come to permeate our everyday language, and while their origin in humanities research is forgotten, they continue to structure the way we speak, think, and act. We see this with now common words such as social capital (Bourdieu) or tacit knowledge (Polanyi). At other times, newly minted concepts circulate primarily among university teachers and students, where terms like banal nationalism (Billig), imagined communities (Anderson) and the banality of evil (Arendt) are taken for granted as common reference points. In each case, however, there is a need to recognise the role and value of such discoveries or intellectual work.

The seminar will be held Wednesday 10 January 2018 at Carlsberg Academy, Copenhagen and is by invitation only.

Read more about Carlsberg Academy and find out how to get there



08:30 - 09:00 Registration and coffee

09:00 - 09:20 Welcome and introduction, Professor Flemming Besenbacher and Associate Professor Anders Engberg-Pedersen

09:20 - 10:10 Keynote speech: How the humanities have changed the world, Professor Rens Bod 

10:10 - 11:00 Keynote speech: Are the humanities different? Professor Onara O’Neill

11:00 - 11:20 Coffee break

11:20 - 12:10 Keynote speech: On not "justifying" the humanities, Professor Stefan Collini

12:10 - 12:50 Two concepts
Socio-technical systems: Do we shape technology, or does technology shape us? Associate Professor Peter Dalsgaard
Authenticity, the cultural imaginary and posthumanism, Professor Johanna Seibt

12:50 - 13:35 Lunch

13:35 - 14:55 Four concepts
The ground beneath our feet: Archaeology, objects and new nationalisms, Professor Rubina Raja
Memory revisited, Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun
Nostalgia as a cultural phenomenon: Contemporary trends in Russia and beyond, Associate Professor Tine Roesen
Bubbles – financial and otherwise, Professor Vincent Hendricks

14:55 - 15:25 Tea break

15:25 - 16:05 Two concepts
Construal - from half full glasses to cognitive linguistics, Associate Professor Kasper Boye
Deconstruction as academic and everyday praxis, Associate Professor Søren Riis

16:05 - 16:50 Panel discussion
Professor David Budtz Pedersen
Associate Professor Dorthe Gert Simonsen
Professor Rane Willerslev
Co-founder of ReD Associates Mikkel B. Rasmussen
Moderator: Scientific Journalist Lone Frank

16:50 - 17:00 Closing

17:00 - 18:00 Networking with beer and tapas