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A posthuman era? New theoretical reflections on the human and its relations

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

In recent decades, increased focus on environmental and technological challenges contributes to greater awareness of the role and position of the human in a geological context. Under the umbrella term anthropocene - the age of humanity - emerging research fields such as the posthumanities point to the relationships between the human`s historical, social, cultural and material impact on, and responsibility for, the planet's ecological and technological systems. This course explores what is at stake for the human and its entangled relations with for example technology, animals and the weather.

Learning outcome

Learning outcomes
  • Knowledge about key theoretical frameworks that deal with the relationality between humans, animals, technology and climate change
  • Knowledge about central discussions and concepts concerning the human and its relations

  • Students should be able to analyse and critically discuss characteristics of the posthuman era and the so-called posthuman turn
  • Students should be able to analyse challenges and opportunities provided by the theoretical frameworks of the posthumanities
  • Students should be able to compare and contrast key influences in the growing field of the posthumanities

  • After the course, students are expected to be able to recognize posthuman discourses in contemporary debate.
  • Students are expected to be able to apply a posthuman perspective in professional and educational situations, and in everyday life.


This course provides an introduction to theoretical debates in the emerging fields of the posthumanities. In the course, we will grapple with questions of climate change, humanimal relations, global politics and (posthuman) ethics, and engage with contemporary questions of knowledge production in times of change. The central aim of the course is to improve students' understanding of the entangled relationships among humans, between nature and culture, and between humans and technology, animals and environment. The course discusses questions of agency, subject-object relations, and the production of knowledge. The course is relevant to students who are interested in studying power, relationality, vulnerability and accountability of the human in a co-existential perspective.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
Oral exam1/1 A - F
The exam for this course is an oral exam at the end of the semester. In order to qualify for the oral examination, students are required to attend 2 Close Reading Workshops, to carry out 1 in-class presentation and to hand in a paper of 1000 words during the semester. The hand-in and the presentation will have separate and fixed deadlines. The oral exam will be graded A-F.
The continuation exam will take place in a similar manner as the ordinary exam, but within a shorter timespan.

Coursework requirements

Hand-ins, presentations, workshops
2 Close Reading Workshops, 1 hand-in (1000 words) and 1 in-class presentation. This course requires active participation, and students will be asked to hand in 1 short text (á 1000 words) during the semester and carry out 1 presentation, which will both receive an approved/not-approved assessment. Students will have to pass this 3-part compulsory assignment in order to qualify for the final exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Mathias Klitgård
Study Program Director
Ingvil Førland Hellstrand

Method of work

The course consists of weekly sessions. These sessions will include lectures, seminars, excursions, group work and individual work - adapted to different modes of study. All students are expected to read the syllabus and participate in group discussions and thereby develop analytic reflections in a productive environment with fellow students. This will be done on and off campus and the course coordinator will facilitate a digital learning platform (Canvas). The working language for this course is English.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
A posthuman era? New theoretical reflections on the human and its relations (GEN550_1) 10

Open to

English Language and Literature - Bachelor's Degree Programme
History - Bachelor's Degree Programme
Journalism - Bachelor's Degree Programme
Nordic Language and Literature - Bachelor's Degree Programme
Admission to Single Courses at Faculty of Arts and Education
Exchange Students at Faculty of Arts and Education

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Faculty of Social Science evaluation system.


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 11.08.2020