The Future of the History of the Human Sciences Conference 7-8 April 2016

This two-day meeting gathers together established scholars and early-career researchers to consider changes wrought in the broad interdisciplinary field of the history of the human sciences by new developments in the medical humanities, biological sciences, and literary/cultural theory. It aims: (1) to provide an overview of the field’s development –from the foundation of the journal History of the Human Sciences, which marked the beginning of serious Anglophone enquiry in this area – through to contemporary developments (including the challenges and opportunities offered by the rise of the medical humanities and the ‘neuro-turn’); (2) offer provocations – from various disciplinary perspectives – about the directions that the future of the history of the human sciences might and should take.

There will be four intensive sessions and a roundtable on future directions:

  1. The Problem of the Archive: biological data, digital media and their impact upon the archive and human nature;
  2. The Problem of the Human: how the neurosciences are challenging conventional approaches to history;
  3. The Problem of the Social: How do models of ‘the social’ in the life sciences challenge those in the social sciences and humanities?
  4. Practice in the Human Sciences: new methods and approaches in medical humanities and science studies.


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