European Humanism and Its Challenges (2017)

Call for Papers

Aulus Gel­lius, the Roman anti­quar­i­an from the sec­ond cen­tu­ry AD, wrote that his con­tem­po­raries used the term human­i­tas with the mean­ing of the Greek word phil­an­thropia, benev­o­lence towards oth­ers, even though the mas­ters of Latin lan­guage had pre­vi­ous­ly used the noun to mark a spe­cial type of edu­ca­tion. Even then, the word could mean both an eth­i­cal posi­tion and a par­tic­u­lar cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mod­el. Dur­ing sub­se­quent peri­ods, until today, the adjec­tive human­ist was asso­ci­at­ed with these two dif­fer­ent areas. But Gel­lius, as well as his pre­de­ces­sor Cicero, saw both mean­ings as close­ly inter­twined: he con­sid­ered such edu­ca­tion as nec­es­sary to cul­ti­vate human­i­ty (human­i­tas), which is both its foun­da­tion and its goal. In the fol­low­ing cen­turies, it found its expres­sion in the con­vic­tion about the fun­da­men­tal val­ue of each indi­vid­ual; com­plex­i­ty of mod­ern civil­i­sa­tion, diver­si­ty of its cul­tur­al forms and sen­si­tiv­i­ty of artis­tic expres­sions, as well as human rights and democ­ra­cy, are large­ly the result of this process. If the val­ue of the indi­vid­ual grew from con­tin­u­ous search for integri­ty as a means of dis­cov­er­ing one’s mea­sure, what is the present state of such human­is­tic atti­tude? And what are its con­se­quences for edu­ca­tion, for art, for under­stand­ing of human being, of the world, of life? It seems that recent­ly the ques­tion about the fate of human­ism has become more dif­fi­cult, and per­haps more impor­tant. How to rec­on­cile the objec­tivist sci­ence with the cul­tur­al val­ues, which are root­ed in the unique impor­tance of the human per­son and which, stric­to sen­su, can­not be claimed sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly? How come that those anthro­po­log­i­cal, cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mod­els, which are relat­ed to the human­ism of antiq­ui­ty and of the renais­sance, as well as to nine­teenth-cen­tu­ry neo­hu­man­ism, so often lim­it them­selves to the apolo­getic and moral­is­tic dis­course when faced with the prag­ma­tist, tech­ni­cist and econ­o­mistic ide­ol­o­gy?

The pur­pose of the sym­po­sium is to bring togeth­er schol­ars from dif­fer­ent fields of human­i­ties, arts and lit­er­a­ture, and to inves­ti­gate the present social and spir­i­tu­al con­di­tion, when it some­times seems that the role of human­is­tic tra­di­tion is dimin­ish­ing. The papers will shed light on these chal­lenges, dis­cussing the role of the arts and their rel­e­vance for the world and the human per­son, as well as their role in the future of an open and sol­i­dar­i­ty-based demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety.


Work­ing lan­guages at the sym­po­sium will be Eng­lish and Sloven­ian, with papers pre­sent­ed prefer­ably in Eng­lish. Indi­vid­ual papers will be giv­en 20 min­utes (as well as 10 min­utes for dis­cus­sion). Dead­line for appli­ca­tions is May 20th, at

Appli­ca­tions should include: 1. the name of the speak­er, 2. the title of the paper, 3. the name and address of the affil­i­at­ed insti­tu­tion, 4. a brief sum­ma­ry (up to 1500 char­ac­ters). The par­tic­i­pants will be informed by May 30th, 2017. All par­tic­i­pants will take part in the Vileni­ca Inter­na­tion­al Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val. Select papers will be peer-reviewed and pub­lished in Primer­jal­na književnost (Com­par­a­tive Lit­er­a­ture), an A&HCI jour­nal.

Vileni­ca Inter­na­tion­al Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val

The Vileni­ca Inter­na­tion­al Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val, a gath­er­ing of poets, prose writ­ers, drama­tists, essay­ists, and schol­ars, is orga­nized by the Slovene Writ­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Cul­tur­al Cen­tre Vileni­ca.

The cli­max of the event is the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Vileni­ca Inter­na­tion­al Lit­er­ary Prize, award­ed by the Slovene Writ­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion in accor­dance with its statute to a Cen­tral Euro­pean author for out­stand­ing achieve­ments in the field of lit­er­a­ture and essay writ­ing.

Pre­vi­ous Vileni­ca prize win­ners: Dubrav­ka Ugrešić (2016), Jáchym Topol (2015), Lás­zló Krasz­na­horkai (2014), Olga Tokar­czuk (2013), David Alba­hari (2012), Mircea Cărtăares­cu (2011), Dže­vad Kara­hasan (2010), Clau­dio Magris (2009), Andrzej Sta­siuk (2008), Goran Ste­fanovs­ki (2007), Mio­drag Pavlović (2006), Ilma Rakusa in Karl-Markus Gauß (2005), Brigitte Kro­nauer (2004), Mirko Kovač (2003), Ana Blandi­ana (2002), Jaan Kaplin­s­ki (2001), Slavko Mihal­ić (2000), Eri­ca Pedret­ti (1999), Péter Nádas (1998), Pavel Vilikovsky (1997), Adam Zaga­jew­s­ki (1996), Adolf Muschg (1995), Josip Osti (1994), Libuše Moníková (1993), Milan Kun­dera (1992), Zbig­niew Her­bert (1991), Tomas Ven­clo­va (1990), Jan Ská­cel (1989), Peter Eszter­házy (1988), Peter Hand­ke (1987) in Ful­vio Tomiz­za (1986).


Euro­pean Human­ism and its Chal­lenges, Call for Papers 2017 (pdf)