humanism

European Humanism and Its Challenges – Ljubljana 2017

(Photos: Matjaž Rebolj, Luka Škulj, Ivo Štefanič, and the symposium participants.)

International Symposium on European Humanism and Its Challenges, which took place in Ljubljana on September 8–9, 2017, was organised by Department of Classical Philology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana; Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest; Faculty of “Artes Liberales,” University of Warsaw; Slovenian Comparative Literature Association; and Vilenica International literary festival. The symposium was under the honorary patronage of His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia.

About the Symposium

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 was 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 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.

Vilenica International Literary Festival

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. So far, Vilenica laureates were Yuri Andrukhovych (2017), 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) and Fulvio Tomizza (1986).

Programme

Venues: Slovenian Writers’ Association Hall, Tomšičeva ulica 12 | Slovenian National Gallery (auditorium), Cankarjeva 20 | Šestica Restaurant, Slovenska cesta 40, Ljubljana | Vilenica Cave, near the village of Lokev | Muha Restaurant, Lokev 138

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Friday, September 8th

10.00–11.30 Registration | Slovenian National Gallery, auditorium, Cankarjeva 20

11.30 Opening address

Session 1 (chaired by David Movrin)

12.00–13.00 György E. Szönyi, CEU, Hungary: Broadening Horizons of Humanism (keynote address)

13.30–14.30 Humanism in Art: Guided Walk around National Gallery

14.30–16.00 Lunch in Šestica (est. 1776), Slovenska cesta 40

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Friday Section A | National Gallery, auditorium, Cankarjeva 20

16.00–17.30 Session 2A (chaired by Ewa Łukaszyk)

Elżbieta Olechowska, Artes liberales, Warsaw | Innovative Diversity of Academic Offer as a Response to Audiovisual Propagation of Second-Hand Knowledge of the Classical Humanities

Marko Marinčič, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Vergerio the Younger between Latin Humanism and the ‘Pragmatic Nationalism’ of the Reformation

Petra Mutlova, Masaryk University, Brno | Jan Hus as an inspiration in the 21st century

*  *  *

17.30–18.00 Coffee break

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Friday Section A | National Gallery, auditorium, Cankarjeva 20

18.00–19.30 Session 3A (chaired by Marko Marinčič)

Brane Senegačnik, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Humanist Understanding of Human: Humanist Readings of Antigone

Marco Russo, Universita degli Studi di Salerno | What is it like to be a Humanist?

Matic Kocijančič, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Heidegger’s reading of Antigone and his critique of humanism

*  *  *

Friday Section B | Writers’ Association Hall, Tomšičeva ulica 12

16.00–17.30 Session 2B (chaired by Marco Russo)

Žarko Paić, University of Zagreb | Technosphere and the end of subject: The culture that is left

Dean Komel, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | The crisis of “Humanism” and the contemporality of human sciences

Rafał Zawisza, University of Warsaw, Faculty of “Artes Liberales” | On the unrestrained spirit of humanism

*  *  *

17.30–18.00 Coffee break

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Friday Section B | Writers’ Association Hall, Tomšičeva ulica 12

18.00–19.30 Session 3B (chaired by Aleksandar Gatalica)

Neža Zajc, Institute of Cultural History, Slovenian Academy | The Concept of Humanistic Individuum in the View of St. Maxim the Greek and Enea Silvio Piccolomini

Bojana Tomc, Diocesan classical gymnasium, Ljubljana | The motif of freedom, human dignity, and awareness of common human destiny in antiquity, in renaissance and in Cervantes

Andrej Tomažin, Ljubljana | Literature after finitude: Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia and the genre of theory-fiction

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20.00 Dinner

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Saturday, September 9th

Saturday Section A | National Gallery, auditorium, Cankarjeva 20

9.00–10.30 Session 4A (chaired by György E. Szönyi)

Marko Uršič, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Pico della Mirandola and the human dignity

Katarzyna Jerzak, Pomeranian University in Słupsk | The medicine cabinet and the bookshelf: PTSD and other anxiety disorders in Martin Buber, Mikhail Bakhtin, Boris Cyrulnik and Jonathan Shay

Igor Škamperle, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Pico della Mirandola and forging one’s own image: The lure of the border and the Renaissance

*  *  *

10.30–11.00 Coffee break

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Saturday Section A | National Gallery, auditorium, Cankarjeva 20

11.00–12.30 Session 5A (chaired by Brane Senegačnik)

Aleksandar Gatalica, Belgrade | The Twentieth Century – the century that chose to be art itself

Tomaž Toporišič, Academy of Theatre Radio, Film and Television, Ljubljana | Whatever happened to Humanism in Today’s Performance Art?

Alen Širca, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Dante’s “Transhumanism” and its implications for contemporary poetry

*  *  *

12.30–13.30 Lunch in Šestica, Slovenska cesta 40

*  *  *

Saturday Section A | National Gallery, auditorium, Cankarjeva 20

13.30–15.00 Session 6A (chaired by Dean Komel)

Robert Kuret, Ljubljana | The individuum as a consequence of the relationship with the Other and towards the Other: the Other as a better me, the Other as an imperfect me

Petar Jevremović, Faculty of Arts, Belgrade | Thinking as Subversion

Manca Erzetič | Testimony of being human

*  *  *

15.00–15.30 Coffee break

*  *  *

Saturday Section A | National Gallery, auditorium, Cankarjeva 20

15.30–17.00 Session 7A (chaired by Katarzyna Jerzak)

Sibil Gruntar Vilfan, CEU, Budapest | Quasi nani super humeros gigantum? Reusing Classical and Medieval Quotations in Hagiographic Discourse in the Area of Liège (10th century)

Edoardo Pecchini, Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw | Promoting Mental Health through Classics: Hercules as Trainer in Today‘s Labours of Children and Young People

*  *  *

Saturday Section B | Writers’ Association Hall, Tomšičeva ulica 12

9-00–10.30 Session 4B (chaired by Elzbieta Olechowska)

David Movrin, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Chommoda and hinsidias: Catullan shaming of the parvenu between antiquity, renaissance and modernity

Áron Orbán, CEU, Budapest | Variations for micro-macrocosmical relations in Conrad Celtis’s Amores

Sonja Weiss, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Le fiere d’Orfeo: Side Paths in the Myth of the Humanization of Mankind

*  *  *

10.30–11.00 Coffee break

*  *  *

Saturday Section B | Writers’ Association Hall, Tomšičeva ulica 12

11.00–12.30 Session 5B (chaired by Marko Uršič)

Markus Kersten, Universität Rostock, Heinrich Schliemann-Institut für Altertumswissenschaften | Humanism that has gone sour? The Status of ‘classical’ literary culture in Historical Roman Poetry

Matej Hriberšek, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana | Literary production of Slovenian humanists of 15th and 16th century in Latin and the ideas of European humanism

Ewa Łukaszyk, University of Warsaw, Faculty of “Artes Liberales” | Congregatio mundi today: Neohumanist perspectives of Guillaume Postel (1510-1581)

*  *  *

12.30–13.30 Lunch in Šestica, Slovenska cesta 40

*  *  *

Saturday Section B | Writers’ Association Hall, Tomšičeva ulica 12

13.30–15.00 Session 6B (chaired by Sonja Weiss)

Olga Markič, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana | Challenges to the humanistic image

Gábor Almási, ELTE, Budapest | Education and discipline: work ethic in the 16th century

Gregor Pobežin, University of Primorska, Koper | Magna enim est spes de pace: Petrus Paulus Vergerius and the council of Trent

*  *  *

15.00–15.30 Coffee break

*  *  *

Saturday Section B | Writers’ Association Hall, Tomšičeva ulica 12

15.30–17.00 Session 7B (chaired by Petra Mutlova)

Adam Łukaszewicz, Warsaw University | Ambiguity of Knowledge and the Challenge of Humanism

Dávid Molnár, MTA-ELTE, Budapest | The humanist interpretation of erotic dreams

Blaž Zabel, Durham University | The Future of Classical Studies in a Globalised World

*  *  *

17.00–18.30 Excursion to Vilenica (by bus)

18.30-19.30 Final award ceremony (in Vilenica cave), with literary readings by Inger Elisabeth Hansen (Norway), Kerrie O’Brien (Ireland), Esther Kinsky (Germany) and Fahredin Shehu (Kosovo); and a speech of Vilenica 2017 laureate, Yuri Andrukhovych

19.30 Farewell dinner, together with Vilenica authors in Karst restaurant “Muha” (est. 1679); followed by a musical concert

23.00 Return to Ljubljana

Participants and abstracts

European Humanism and Its Challenges booklet – final version

Gallery
Staying in Ljubljana
All our international guests were staying in Postgraduate Students Home (“Dom podiplomcev”), Gosarjeva 9, Ljubljana, telephone +386-1-580-56-00, where our visiting professors usually stay. All the details about the place, including the contacts and the map, are available online. The home is located near one of the main arterial roads (Dunajska cesta) and is reachable by city busses 6, 8 and 11. As a small token of welcome to all the visiting Latinists, the bus stop has a Latin name, Mercator. To reach it from the airport, one can use public bus service no. 28 which operates between Ljubljana train and bus station and the airport and which runs every hour. (Departures from Ljubljana airport: 5.00, 6.05, 7.00, 8.00, 9.00, 10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00, 17.00, 18.00, 19.00, 20.00.) If you let the driver know, the airport bus will also make a stop at the Mercator stop; you only need to cross the road (via subway), go around the grey building (“Dunajska 106”) – and you are there. The ride from the airport takes about 40 minutes, the cost is around 4 Euros and you buy your tickets directly from the driver. There is also a private shuttle service, which is running less frequently, but is a bit faster. If you take a taxi from the airport, it should cost you about 35 euros.
Organizing Committee

The Organizing Committee includes Dejan Kos, Slovenian Comparative Literature Association; David Movrin, Department of Classical Philology, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts; Elżbieta Olechowska, Faculty of “Artes Liberales,” University of Warsaw; Brane Senegačnik, Department of Classical Philology, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts; and Katalin Szende, Department of Medieval Studies, Central European University, Budapest.