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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 complex relationality between the human, 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
  • 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 their everyday lives


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

Completed bachelor-degree


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Portfolio-exam1/1 A - F
The exam for this course is a portfolio-exam. This exam consists of 2 Close Reading Workshops, 2 individual papers (à 500 words) and 1 group paper (1500 words) that will be handed in during the semester and a final individual essay (3000 words). The two individual papers and the group paper will have separate and fixed deadlines, but will be given a joint evaluation after the entire portfolio has been handed in. However, comments to the these papers will be given in a plenary session. The portfolio 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

Projects: hand-ins, group presentations, workshops
This course requires active participation: Students will be asked to attend 2 Close Reading Workshops, hand in 2 individual papers (à 500 words) and prepare a group paper (1500 words). These activities are part of the final portfolio exam in this course, and will be given a final evaluation when the portfolio exam is completed. Comments to the essays will be given in a plenary session, and will receive a approved/non-approved assessment during the semester. Students will have to pass these compulsory assignments in order to qualify for handing in the final portfolio 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 (GEN350_1) 10

Open to

Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Social Sciences
Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology
Energy, Environment and Society - masterstudium
Change Management - Master's Degree Programme
International Hospitality Management - Master's Degree Programme
Literacy Studies - Master's Degree Programme
Societal safety - Master's degree programme
Social Studies - Master's Degree Programme in Social Work
Exchange Students at Faculty of Arts and Education
Exchange programme at Faculty of Social Sciences
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the evaluation system of the Faculty of Social Sciences.


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 14.08.2020