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What is human?

Rosi Braidotti visited Aarhus University on September 21st.

2018.10.04 | Miriam Yasmin Tarp Yamil

Roundtable discussion with Rosi Braidotti

Excitement and curiosity filled the small meeting room at Studenterhus Aarhus on September the 21st, and both students and professors had shown up for the roundtable discussion with Rosi Braidotti.

Braidotti is one of the world’s most esteemed scholars on feminism and posthumanism and the roundtable discussion was a follow-up on her Futures Lecture held on September 20th, where she introduced different perspectives on what it means to be human in the 21st Century – especially in relation to the new technology and artificial intelligence that surround us.

The focus of the roundtable discussion was also about the posthuman condition, and where that leaves us. The audience could experience two and a half hours of intense conversation between Rosi Braidotti and five scholars from Aarhus University; Anette Vandsø, Peter Danholt, Tobias Skiveren, Pernille Leth-Espersen, and Jacob Wamberg.

Each scholar gave a small presentation leading up to a question which started the roundtable conversation with Rosi Braidotti. Different angles to posthumanism were laid out and some also sparked critical perspectives on the subject. New technology challenges how we see the human body, which again, also poses ethical questions. As an example, researcher Pernille Leth-Espersen pointed out the fact that it is possible, through cultivation, to preserve human cells and tissue long after the person, from whom the cells originate, has died. This started an ethical debate, because what does it mean to be human, if bodies become fragmented, and parts of the body can live on at the same time as other parts die?

Rosi Braidotti, with her energetic and enthusiastic approach to the questions, together with the five researchers from Aarhus University posing five interesting angles on posthumanism, made up a lively and engaging discussion for the audience to experience.