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Posthuman Aesthetics

Posthuman Aesthetics

Ethics and Aesthetics of the Posthuman Condition

  • Open Online Course 21 September - 16 November 2016
  • Technology, posthumanism and arts 

Posthuman Aesthetics

  • Open Online Course 21 September - 16 November 2016
  • Technology, posthumanism and arts 

Ethics and aesthetics of the posthuman condition is an Open Online Course starting autumn 2016. The course will probe the depths of the human condition, as it stands after the 'fall' of traditional humanistic paradigms, and consider the effects and potentials of 'the posthuman'.

About the course

The idea of 'the posthuman' has emerged as a term that sums up various ideas and realities of a possible, radical change in human existence that would lead to a new mode of being. This category of 'the posthuman' has become an increasingly important issue across a number of disciplines, ranging from microbiology and genetics to philosophy and aesthetics.

Manifestations of the posthuman in the visual arts and literature will be the primary topics throughout the course. In addition, the students will be presented with a broad introduction to the historical and contemporary ethical and philosophical concepts relevant to the field. In this way, the course frames the phenomena of the posthuman through the prism of aesthetics.

Practical information

  • The course is taught in an introductory way to accommodate a broad spectrum of people ranging from university students to casual observers.
  • Participants are expected to have basic IT skills and proficiency in English.
  • You should expect to spend 10 hours per week, if you intend to participate in all activities and do all assignments.
  • It is possible to follow the course in different ways - ranging from complete participation to passive observation.
  • The course is taught in English.

Registration closed


What is an OOC?

Open Online Courses (OOCs) are short courses that are open to the public and free to take part in. We have removed the “M” from the well-known term MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to place emphasis on quality rather than the massiveness of participants.

What does a typical workweek include?

The expected weekly workload is 10 hours.

A typical week on the course includes:

  • Watching an introductory video lecture.
  • Gathering of relevant material (textual and visual, online and out in your surroundings) and commenting on these findings.
  • Reading theoretical texts.
  • Online feedback sessions/conferences.
  • Weekly assignments, for instance:
    • Annotated links
    • Forum discussions
    • Short video productions
    • Short papers and essays

How is the teaching structured?

The course is organised around a few master topics such as:

  • Divided humanity
  • Grand Narratives
  • Human/Superhuman


Each part of the course features:

  • A short pre-recorded intro-lecture.
  • One or two weeks of student activities such as video uploads, creative photography, forum discussion, peer-reviewing, academic writing and live feedback sessions with the associated research group.

The aim of this structure is to promote inclusion, discussion and activity. The course forums, discussion boards and video lectures will all be located on a dynamic blog-platform which is still under construction.

Do I need access to specific software programs?

The only requirements are access to free online platforms such as Google services, Facebook and Skype.

What level of it and language skills are necessary?

  • English proficiency
  • Basic proficiency in online communication platforms such as Google Hangout, Skype, Facebook, Google+, Blog platforms etc.

Will I receive a certificate or ECTS points?

In terms of work load the course is equivalent to 5 ECTS points. Active students who attend the required online sessions and hand in the required material will be awarded a completion certificate. ECTS credits are not awarded by Aarhus University, but students may use the certificate to negotiate credit transfer with their own institutions.

Can everyone participate?

The course is free to attend and open to all interested students around the world.

Who is responsible for the course?

  • The course is planned and run by the research group Posthuman Aesthetics in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Aarhus University.
  • The course is taught by Mads Rosendahl Thomsen.

What is the coolest thing I can experience during the course?

Exploring prominent and extremely relevant topics in contemporary culture such as superhero films, artificial intelligence, evolution and human futures.