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“Like a Face Drawn in Sand at the Edge of the Sea.” Vicissitudes of the Posthuman Forty Years After Foucault’s Death.

“Does man really exist? To imagine, for an instant, what the world and thought and truth might be if man did not exist, is considered to be merely indulging in paradox. This is because we are so blinded by the recent manifestation of man that we can no longer remember a time – and it is not so long ago – when the world, its order, and human beings existed, but man did not.”

M. Foucault, The Order of Things

Conference programme is available now:



Clemens Apprich, University of Applied Arts Vienna

KEYNOTE: The Technological Unconscious – from Post- to Anti-Humanism

Olga Goriunova, University of London

KEYNOTE: The Tables Have Turned: Desire, Power and Abstraction in the Subject in AI Society

Forty years after Foucault's death and sixty after the publication of An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, we would like to invite you to interrogate the posthuman as an open problem and process on the historical and epistemic level. In particular, we would like to discuss whether and how historiographical and methodological issues pertaining to the archeological project have been transformed, scaled down, transposed or partially resolved today.

The Order of Things wished to show the emergence and disappearance of the configurations of knowledge in their empirical arising. Among them, we see man taking his ambivalent place as both mysterious object and sovereign subject of western knowledge, only to soon disappear along the lines of the image we captured in the title. But, however deferred, historiographical and epistemological problems return incessantly, questioning the status of discontinuities in the archaeological project: what backdrop would be able to account for both the emerging and the fading away of orders of identities and differences? To what logic do their mutations respond? What explanation is offered?

According to the archaeological instance, posthuman is then manifestly not a condition of existence but an open process: the uncertain outcome of the mutations of these conditions of possibility, of their precipitation.

What does it mean to question this diagnostic today? What mutations have taken place or struggle to do so? What are the stakes? Would it be legitimate to say that today we speak from the space of knowledge left vacant by the disappearance of the figure of western knowledge that gave rise to the humanities?

The workshop's aim would be to draw a map, though bound to be partial, fragmentary and mobile, of a range of practices both in research and in applied fields related to the tools forged in the debate pertaining to posthumanism. This could be done, on the one hand, by exploring the current functioning of the toolbox elaborated by the thinker in the 1960s and early 1970s, and on the other hand, by interrogating the way in which these tools have been brought into contact and fruitful interaction with different theoretical inputs and epistemic and political instances (feminist, anti-racist, queer, post-colonial, ecological, a.o.).


We look forward to your contribution!

Please submit the title and abstract (no more than 500 words) of your contribution by March 24th, 2024, to an on-line abstract submission form or by email to:


VENUE: May 30-31, 2024, Masaryk University, Room M117 – Joštova 10, Brno, Czech Republic.


The workshop is supported by the project EMOROB (2023-2027) Robots, Computing the Human and Autism/ Cultural Imaginations of Autism Diagnosis and Emotion AI (EXPRO GAČR_ 2023/23/GX23-05692X), FSS MU

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