Ethics & Things workshop, June 1-2

In dominant modern conceptions things often become little but things-for-us, reduced to resources or what Heidegger termed Bestand. Even as heritage, monuments and things mostly receive their value from being useful to us; as cultural, scientific or economic resources, serving as vehicles for identity and securing human well-being. This workshop will explore possible alternatives to this understanding. That is, to what extent may things be seen as valuable and/or significant also in and of themselves, beyond human concern or definition? Rather than providing a “corrective”, or appealing to abstract (and often humanized) principles of “rights”, we would like to frame this exploration, first and foremost, as a concern for things’ integrity and difference.  Moreover, we argue, taking seriously things’ recently applauded “agency”, also entails moral obligations, including concern for their less desirable aspects.


Interdisciplinary workshop, Centre for Advanced Study (CAS),

Norwegian Academy of Sciences, June 1-2, 2017, Oslo, Norway (Drammensveien 78, Turret room – top floor)


10.15-10.45   Vigdis Broch-Due, director of CAS: Welcome

Bjørnar Olsen, UiT-The Arctic University of Norway/CAS: Introduction

10.45-11.45  Lucas Introna: The ethos of those who have nothing in common.

11.45-13.15   Lunch at Gabelshus Hotel (Gabels gate 16)

13.15-14.15   Caitlin DeSilvey: Other Objects and the Ethics of Indifference.

14.15-15.15   Tim LeCain:  Three Thousand Dead Snow Geese: Towards a Post-Anthropocentric Ethic.

15.15-15.30   Tea/coffee

15.30-16.30   Ingar Figenschau: The heritage of war and the discourse of sustainability.

19.00              Dinner (restaurant to be announced)


09.30-10.30   Silvia BensoBodies of Water: Levinas’s Hydrodynamic Ethics.

10.30-11.30   Þóra Pétursdóttir: Ethics in drift.

11.30-13.00   Lunch at Gabelshus hotel

13.00-14.00   Sven Ouzman: Archaeology and Artefacts in the Anthropocene: Between the dead hand of the past and the high intentions of the future.

14.00-15.00   Alfredo González Ruibal: One single catastrophe: ethics, jurisdiction, archaeology

15.00-15.15   Tea/coffee

15.15-16.30   General discussion

19.00              Dinner (restaurant to be announced)

The workshop is part of the CAS project After Discourse: Things, Archaeology, and Heritage in the 21st Century,

If you are interested in attending this workshp, contact Þóra Pétursdóttir:

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