Humanism: the incorporation of the human being into its surrounding species-beings in the production of a space of mutual existence and respect.

The Leros Humanism Seminars/LSH/ΣΛ are a series of yearly intellectual encounters that take place on the island of Leros. The inaugural event was held in July 2023. In 2024, the seminars will take place between June 26 - 28th. The seminars seek to bring together scholars, artists, and activists along with college undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students (from Greece and abroad), as well as interested local population, in order to (re)consider collectively the multifarious premises of the human as individual and as social living-being while engaging different discourses and practices of conflict, communication, and coexistence.

We are putting this Seminar Series on Leros together as a minimum tribute to this magical island that has given to so many of us so many reasons for stochastic reflection, has pushed our limits of comfortable thought, and has challenged the conceptual certainties of what is a place, what is space, what is existence, what is the human being, what is confinement, what is order and what disorder, who is familiar and who is a stranger, what are the amplitudes and the limits of belonging, just to name a few. And it has done so in perfect dissonance with its physical environment which is nothing short of sublime.

The broad object of the seminars is to field anew the question of “what is human” and how “what is human” is determined in numerous registers of history and life by reconceptualizing humanism away and against its established and unexamined presumptions. Topics and domains of inquiry, to be explored presently and in the coming years, include:

Catastrophic environments
Education and pedagogy
Boundaries and borders
Legality and illegality
Critical arts and anti-arts
Textures and architectures
Confinements and the commons
Colonialism in the "metacolony"
Genders and sexualities
Borderlands and crossings
Islands and Isolations
Structures and Infrastructures

Standing in the midst of these domains, the seminars will seek to problematize, interrogate, affirm, and posit anew specific questions that look backwards in history and forward in the present-future that test the capacity of humanist practices.

How does the humanism of the anti-colonial era address the dehumanization of populations in the present?

Can human beings assimilate technologies in an ontological sense, as posthumanists claim?

How can human-being as an ontological condition continue to stand in the context of anthropological (racial, sexual, cultural) difference?

Can we think about the human as the non-ontological cornerstone of the social?

Can we think about the human as living-being determined by politics, beyond the Aristotelian political animal?

Can we, or should we, revisit “species-being?” 

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