Legacies of the Enlightenment: Humanity, Nature, and Science in a Changing Climate
Legacies of the Enlightenment responds to the question how the Enlightenment has come to inform our current concept of humanity and the interrelation of human and non-human. The period of the Enlightenment was a time when the boundaries separating organic and inorganic materials were beginning to crumble, but it was also a time in which the categories that define what constitutes a “normal” human were solidifying.
The interrelation of human and non-human and the definitions of these two concepts that we examine in this project define how we comprehend, for example, environmental pollution, social injustice, racism, sexual orientation, and how a monolithic definition of humanity is challenged by natural catastrophes and epidemics. In order to address these issues efficiently, we have assembled a team of scholars that cuts across disciplines, time periods, and institutions. This interdisciplinary configuration opens up space for a dialogue on these topics.
This project is possible thanks to the support of the Mellon Foundation's Humanities Without Walls initiative.