Posthumanism's German Genealogies
Speaker: Stefan Herbrechter

In his keynote lecture at the conference ‘Posthumanism and the Posthuman’ (University of Senate House, 23-24 March 2023), Herbrechter examines posthumanism as a critical and theoretical paradigm that takes over from postmodernism, poststructuralism and deconstruction. With the ‘triumfeminate’ of Donna Haraway, Katherine Hayles and Rosi Braidotti at the helm, posthumanism is often seen as a predominantly Anglo-American affair. However, Herbrechter shows that the genealogy of posthumanism is more complex, and more European. Apart from the well-established link with French theory, one could also name Italian biopolitical thought and German (media) philosophy as important but often neglected genealogical strands of contemporary posthumanism. He sketches the trajectories from the so-called ‘masters of suspicion’ (Nietzsche, Marx, Freud and Darwin) to modern (Heidegger, Adorno, Habermas) and contemporary (Sloterdijk) engagements with posthumanist theory and philosophy – with a particular focus on German media philosophy (Kittler, Luhmann, Bolz, Ernst, Siegert), and considers what kind of perspectives they open up for an investigation of the posthuman.

Speaker(s): Stefan Herbrechter (University of Heidelberg); Moderator: Robert Craig (University of Bamberg)

Event date: Thursday, 23 March 2023