The International Council
for Philosophy and Human Sciences

PRESS CONFERENCE: Announcing the World Humanities Conference and related events

PRESS CONFERENCE
UNESCO - MONDAY 18TH JANUARY - 11 AM - 1PM
Announcing the World Humanities Conference and related events

 

INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW

What? UNESCO, with the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences and Liège Together, started the preparation of the WORLD HUMANITIES CONFERENCE, preceded and followed by a large series of other events.
What for? The Conference is meant to foster a re-foundation of the Humanities, from the awareness of the need to re-think the scope and role of human sciences in contemporary society, resuming the understanding of the relevance of the Humanities for everyday life. The Conference will allow establishing a new agenda for the Humanities, with implications at the educational, research and policy making dimensions in the various countries.
When? Where? The Conference will take place in Liège, Belgium, from the 6th to the 12th August 2017.
On what? The Conference will be structured on six driving themes: Humans and the Environment; Cultural identities, cultural diversity and intercultural relations; Cultural Heritage; Boundaries and Migrations; History, memory and politics; Humanities in World in Transition.
How? The current decision and public open preparatory process is already the result of a long debate involving all scholarly fields of the Humanities, but also contacts with natural and social scientists, with artists, NGOs and many other relevant stakeholders. The Conference will be available online as well.
Role of the Media: Media, from journalists to editors and publishers, involving from writing reporters to photographers or marketing experts, all are invited not to merely "produce news" but also to be part of the news. The media field is a core field of the Humanities, and UNESCO and CIPSH thus invite professionals from this sector to participate in the debates, to comment, to criticise and to intervene in the project as a whole.

To know more:
www.humanities2017.org/en

What?

UNESCO, with the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences and Liège Together, started the preparation of the WORLD HUMANITIES CONFERENCE.

This will be a major gathering to be prepared during the next 18 months, engaging all fields of knowledge in all countries, focused on the role and scope of the Humanities in contemporary society.

What for?

There is a growing awareness, in face of the critical ongoing societal and environmental trends, that the specific knowledge of the Humanities on cultures is insufficiently considered in the public agenda, with often catastrophic consequences.

The Conference is meant to foster a re-foundation of the Humanities, from the awareness of the need to re-think the scope and role of human sciences in contemporary society, resuming the understanding of the relevance of the Humanities for everyday life.

The need for such an agenda is twofold. On one hand, there has been no global re-thinking on the role and scope of humanities following the major global changes that were accelerated in the past few decades. On the other hand, there is a growing need to re-introduce in the daily agenda of society a mid and long term perspective, that is required in face on the future uncertainty and which finds no answer within the limits of a purely immediate problem-solving approach.

The humanities provide unique skills and resources for individuals and societies to meet the growing need for sustainable living, participatory, and peaceful coexistence.  Empowered by historical knowledge, critical thinking, and nuanced analysis of human ideas, values, and imagination, the human sciences provide understanding of the new salience of cultural capital in our contemporary world.  Humanistic thinking offers a broader, deeper and more creative perspective than conventional problem-solving approaches to societal challenges. It contends that human flourishing can only be realized through renewed awareness of the human condition-past, present, and future--in relation to other sentient beings, our natural environment, and scientific and technological developments. Moreover, the humanities emphasize the potential of artistic expression to provide meaning in increasingly diverse societies.

The Conference will allow establishing a new agenda for the Humanities, with implications at the educational, research and policy making dimensions.

In the context of education, a need exists to identify the core elements that should be present in an education for an open citizenship, framed within diversity and flexibility.

In the context of research, there is a need for better articulation of funding strategies of agencies in different regions and countries, aiming at the global improvement of Humanities knowledge for the better of societies. This requires an identification of cross-disciplinary priorities at a world scale.

The nature of research organization, among disciplines but also in bridging with society, also requires a re-structuration. This has started within CIPSH itself and the relations between UNESCO and CIPSH, and overall will be a third major outcome, thus establishing a more efficient tool for the human sciences to pursue their competences.

When?

The Conference will take place in Liège, Belgium, from the 6th to the 12th August 2017. It will be preceded by a large number of events that started with a Regional Conference on Science and Civilization of the Silk Roads held in Beijing, in December 2015. Events will occur in all continents.

The proposal of the Conference was first presented to the General Assembly of UNESCO by the former President of CIPSH, Adama Samassékou, in October 2009, having obtained a first endorsement. The General Assembly of CIPSH (Nagoya 2010) approved a first draft of the Conference and its scope and plan went through deeper preparation in the following 5 years, alongside UNESCO global strategic resolutions, as well. Among these, the decision to award special attention to the Humanities through (QUOTE RESOLUTIONS).

A report on the highlights of the Humanities in the world is now being prepared and aims at incorporating contributions from society. The PC will explain how.

Where?

The World Humanities Conference will be held in Liège.

Following the Regional Conference of Beijing in 2015, regional thematic conferences will be organized in Brazil (October 2016, focusing landscape management and the Humanities), Mali (November 2016, focusing history, heritage and language diversity) and in the Arab region.

Furthermore, specific disciplinary events will take place in several countries (among others: February 2016 in Mariana, Brazil; March 2016 in Mação, Portugal; June 2016 in Macau, China; October 2016 in South Korea).

On what?

The Conference will be structured on six driving themes:

a)      Humans and the Environment (how do humans interact in the territories in face of environmental constraints and changes?)

b)     Cultural identities, cultural diversity and intercultural relations (how are identities and intercultural relations forged, and how may evolve the potential cooperation and tensions among them?)

c)      Cultural Heritage (what is its scope and function?)

d)     Boundaries and Migrations (how are these two dimensions interlinked through time and across cultures?)

e)      History, memory and politics (how do memories and history interact and how are they impacted by political contexts?)

f)       Humanities in World in Transition (what's the new scope and function of the Humanities today, namely in relation to technological digital advances?)

Who is who?

The Conference is organized by UNESCO, CIPSH and LIEGE TOGETHER.
The presidency is entrusted to H.E. Adama SAMASSEKOU, former Minister of Education of Mali, former Chairman of the African Academy of Languages, Chairman of the MAYA network.
An Honorary and Policy Committee will be composed of noted names of international science ('hard sciences', social sciences, humanities, Nobel Prize) and politics.
The Scientific Programme Committee is co-chaired by Professor CHAO Gejin (China), President of CIPSH, and Professor Jean WINAND, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Liege.
A Local Organizing Committee is co-chaired by André GILLES, Deputy-President of the Provincial College of Liege, Willy DEMEYER, Mayor of the City of Liege and Albert CORHAY, Rector of the University of Liege.
The global coordination core group is composed of Adama SAMASSEKOU, Chairman, Luiz OOSTERBEEK, Secretary-General of CIPSH, John CROWLEY, Chief of Section, Sector for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO, Robert HALLEUX, Chairman of the CHST-ULG and Secretary-General of the Conference, Michel COPPÉ, representative of the Province of Liege, Rosi BRAIDOTTI, from CIPSH and Satoko Fujiwara, from CIPSH.

How?

It is highly relevant to stress that, to date, not only academics, but NGO's  and the private sector are intervening in the process (this is also the case in the framework of the International Year of Global Understanding).

The current decision and public open preparatory process is already the result of a long debate involving all scholarly fields of the Humanities, but also contacts with natural and social scientists, with artists, NGOs and many other relevant stakeholders.

Very important are the participations, beyond scholars, of artists, NGOs, policy makers. Special attention will be devoted to promoting the unique relevance of knowledge diversity, countering ethnocentric bias, fostering inclusion and preventing gender or other discrimination.

A major chapter will be the participation of youth in the World Conference, several projects being already in preparation.

The Conference will be available online as well.

Role of the Media

Media is always crucial in the dissemination of any project. Yet, in this case, outreach is the keyword for what needs to be accomplished. Media, from journalists to editors and publishers, involving from writing reporters to photographers or marketing experts, all are invited not to merely "produce news" but also to be part of the news. The media field is a core field of the Humanities, and UNESCO and CIPSH thus invite professionals from this sector to participate in the debates, to comment, to criticise and to intervene in the project as a whole.

In this sense, CIPSH and UNESCO also welcome proposals and challenges from the media experts, because it is with them that it will be effectively possible to engage in the process not only an abstract notion of society, but specific citizens.

To know more: www.humanities2017.org/en
 

  Article Source : CHIPSH
January 11, 2016


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