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Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man is one of the most widely recognizable symbols of the anthropocentric humanism, which demonstrated an interest in the individual and in his body as a cosmografia del minor mondo. Indicating the perfection of human beings, this form of iconography also suggested their completeness and thus autonomy which predestined them to be the masters of the larger world. Half a millennium later, the theories of posthumanism have started to question this perspective on human beings, proposing a more porous and inclusive definition of man. As the idea of the central role of man in the world is challenged, people also acknowledge their co-determining relationship with the environment and technology, seeing themselves as part of a continuum of biological life on the one hand, and as technological beings by definition on the other.
The aim of the upcoming interdisciplinary conference, organised by the Institute of English Studies, University of Rzeszów, that will take place in Rzeszów, Poland on April 12-13th, 2018 is to provide a wide forum for a discussion of the ways in which postcolonial theory could become a part of a wider theoretical reflection concerned with the changing perception of the human. It will be a unique opportunity not only to examine how the understanding of what is human has changed in the twenty-first century, but also to explore the ways in which this change could affect the structures of power.
Julia Fiedorczuk (University of Warsaw)
Dorota Kołodziejczyk (University of Wrocław)
Mark Jackson (University of Bristol)
John Thieme (University of East Anglia)
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