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Mythologies of the Contemporary

Class at Faculty of Arts |


This weekly seminar will require regular readings and preparation for class. In class exercises will focus on understanding the concepts and modes of thought in the readings and applying them in more general ways. Discussions will be, depending on the text, within the whole class or in smaller groups. 

The first lesson will be introductory. The exam will take the form of a small conference, where each student will present their research on a related topic.

In case of a lockdown, classes will take place online.


“In a strict sense, science is our myth.” Taking this quote by the science studies scholar Donna Haraway as a point of departure, this seminar is organized around knowledge produced around the edges of “our” world, meaning the one modern society takes as simply there. The topic then relates to the ontological turn in anthropology and STS (Science Technology Society), wherein ontology can be taken as, following the Brazilian anthropologist Mario Blaser, “the 'stories' we tell ourselves about what exists and how these things exist in relationship to each other.” Ontology, cosmology and myths then are related concepts that can be equally applied to any proposed society, especially the modern one that likes to present itself through the meta-myth of being without myth. Through selected texts we will engage a variety of seemingly for granted concepts, such as Nature, gender, linearity, genes or markets, in order to historically situate them and through pointing out their radical contingency opening up lines of flight toward possible futures. Whereas much research commonly takes the “other” worlds engaged, be they historical or contemporary, non-bourgeois European or small-scale, as something to be judged by our historically constituted standards, the aim here is to engage them as possible worlds that help our situated selves think about what our world is, isn't and could be.

#decolonial moodle:

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