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Posthuman Aesthetics

Posthuman Aesthetics is a collaborative research project focusing on the aesthetics of the ‘posthuman’, the form of human existence associated with the ‘fall’ of traditional humanistic paradigms in a technologized world.

Supposing that the cultural (pre)history of the posthuman condition in art and literature is as important as ethical or anthropological studies, the project investigates recurrent patterns for the ways in which the posthuman is represented in art and popular culture in the last century, and the ways in which aesthetical and artistic values may contribute to a historical framing of the posthuman field.

Directed as it is toward future ways of being, the ‘posthuman’ generally intersects the field of core competences in aesthetics: imagining other worlds and possibilities of existence.

The empirical basis for the exploration of these themes is a string of subprojects concerned with, among others:

  • temporal imperfection in 20th century literature
  • emergence in biology and popular science
  • artistic explorations of tissue culture.

The project is funded by a grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research and led by Professor Jacob Wamberg. It is based at the School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University.

"The aesthetic field - from popular culture to avant-garde art - is the site par excellence for imagining alternative worlds and how to relate to such worlds. Therefore it constitutes a crucial area for exploring what the posthuman might be about." – Professor Jacob Wamberg

Project manager


Pernille Leth-Espensen

Researcher School of Communication and Culture - Aesthetics and Culture

Mads Rosendahl Thomsen

Professor School of Communication and Culture - Comparative Literature