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Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies pres.

CANCELLED: Human Conditions: An Eisenberg Forum

Aerial view of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 Aerial view of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010
Aerial view of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010
Are we humans cooperative or warlike, rational or delusional, fixed or flexible? These questions have philosophical bite and political stakes. Indeed, they always have. But recent work in a range of disciplines asks us to go deeper. What if “we humans” are more fiction than fact? If we can’t assume the stability of the human across time and place, what happens to debates about human nature? Humanistic approaches including actor-network theory, posthuman criticism, and multispecies ethnographies challenge the idea of an autonomous human nature, while scientific studies of organ development, neuroendocrinology, and the microbiome are revealing how much nature there is inside of us. Human Conditions explores these questions through a braided history of the human and environmental sciences.

All events take place in 1014 Tisch Hall unless otherwise noted. The full schedule is below:

Thursday, March 19

4:00 p.m.
Keynote lecture: "Towards a Decolonial Account of Chemical Exposures on the Lower Great Lakes"
Michelle Murphy (University of Toronto)

6:00 p.m.
Reception in the Eisenberg Institute (1521 Haven Hall)

Friday, March 20

9:30 a.m.
Introductions by Henry Cowles and Perrin Selcer

9:45 a.m.
Panel #1: Human-in-Conditions

Henry M. Cowles (University of Michigan): “A Natural History of
Erika Lorraine Milam (Princeton University): “Cultures and
Cohorts: the Slow Science of Long-Term Ecological Research”
Antoine Traisnel (University of Michigan): “The Animal Condition”
Comment: Susan (Scotti) Parrish (University of Michigan)

12:30 p.m.
Panel #2: Human-as-Conditions

Nitin K. Ahuja (University of Pennsylvania): “Permeability as
Pathology: Leaky gut and Other-Threatened Borders”
Anna Bonnell Freidin (University of Michigan): “Gyn-Ecology”
Elizabeth F.S. Roberts (University of Michigan): “Dense and
Infectious Environments”
Comment: Peggy McCracken (University of Michigan)

2:30 p.m.
Panel #3: Conditions-as-Human

David Havlick (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs): “Wild,
Native, or Pure: Trout as Genetic Bodies”
Laura J. Martin (Williams College): “The Pleistocene Overkill
Hypothesis, or Over-consumption as Human Nature”
Perrin Selcer (University of Michigan): “Domesticating Deep Time:
The Contemporaneity of the Agricultural and Green Revolutions”
Comment: Paolo Squatriti (University of Michigan)

4:15 p.m.
Reflections on Human Conditions
Open discussion with all participants and attendees.
Comment: Michelle Murphy (University of Toronto)

5:00 p.m. Reception
Eisenberg Institute (1521 Haven Hall)

This event is an Eisenberg Forum. It is made possible in part by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.

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