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Institute of Advanced Study

On Being Human

What is it to be human? To possess the capacity to feel, think, and care? To be able to imagine, create, act reflectively and responsibly? To possess the power of speech and all that follows from it? Or is it multiplicity that makes us human - to have diverse skills and capabilities, varied emotions, conflicting desires and ambitions, egotism woven into altruism?

These are questions that have troubled humans for many centuries, prompting inquiry into what makes us distinctive and what drives us, and they are just some of the questions that are being addressed by Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study 2008/09 research theme on what it is to be human in the 21st Century.

As part of this programme, the Institute is proudly hosted two events in March 2009 to which staff, students, and members of the general public were warmly invited:

Jane Alexander on Being Human

Galilee Chapel, Durham Cathedral 
Exhibition: 3-22 March 2009

Opening Times: 9.30am - 4.30pm

By kind permission of the Chapter of Durham, an exhibition of a select collection of work by the internationally acclaimed South African artist, Jane Alexander was situated in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral.  Jane's challenging sculptures invited us to reflect on the immensely rich and yet often fraught potentialities of humanness.  For further details of this exhibition visit the Jane Alexander on being human website

Being Human - who cares?

The Main Hall, Durham Town Hall 

3 March 2009, 5.30-7.30pm

With the generous support of the Mayor of Durham, a round-table discussion, led by a panel of distinguished international scholars, question what lies at the core of ‘being human' and whether these qualities distance people from animals, or whether they draw all living things together. In particular the debate focused on where care, and caring, figures in human life: can people care, do they care, should they care; and how far does an ethic of care extend?  For further details of this debate visit the 'Being Human - who cares?' website

Being Human

 

Details

With the generous support of the Mayor of Durham, a round-table discussion, led by a panel of distinguished international scholars, question what lies at the core of `being human`

Copies of the catalogue from the 'Jane Alexander on Being Human' exhibition are available to buy from the IAS priced £5.00 (excluding p&p).  To order a copy email enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk

Jane Alexander On Being Human