Deep Humanities: Leveraging the Humanities and the Arts to Explore the Most Important Questions of our Time

by Cristina Shannon

San José State University’s College of Humanities & the Arts welcomes several distinguished professors and authors to the Hammer Theatre as part of a new series to discuss important topics like the history of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, anthropology, gender, equality, and other thought-provoking topics.

Science, Gender, and Equality – Cordelia Fine 

The series kicks off this fall with a lecture from Dr. Cordelia Fine, a Professor in the History & Philosophy of Science program at the University of Melbourne. Science has long shaped understanding of the feasibility and desirability of workplace gender equality. This talk will explore themes at the contested and controversial intersection of science, gender, and equality.  Dr. Fine’s latest book, Testosterone Rex, was the winner of the prestigious Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing.

Silicon Politics – Margaret O’Mara 

The series continues on November 7th with a lecture featuring Professor Margaret O’Mara. O’Mara will be discussing themes from her upcoming novel, THE CODE: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, including the relationships between the Valley, Sacramento, and Washington D.C. that reshaped American politics and finance in the modern age. Dr. O’Mara is Professor of History at the University of Washington. Her books include Cities of Knowledge (Princeton, 2005), Pivotal Tuesdays (Penn Press, 2015), and a forthcoming history of the American technology industry and its relationship with the worlds of politics and finance. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA from Northwestern University. Prior to her academic career, she worked in the Clinton White House and served as a contributing researcher at the Brookings Institution.

The Human After “The Human” – Tobias Rees

On November 26th, the series ends with a lecture on the concept of The Human After “The Human” with Professor Tobias Rees. The modern concept of ‘the human’ was invented by European philosophers between the 17th and 19th century. Today, fields like AI and biotech have rendered this philosophical concept radically insufficient. Dr. Rees discusses the repercussions for the human sciences. Dr. Rees is Director at the Berggruen Institute, Reid Hoffman Professor at the New School of Social Research, and a Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. His expertise lies at the intersection of anthropology, art history, the history of science, and the philosophy of modernity, and concerns the study of knowledge and thought. His second book, After Ethnos, aims to decouple anthropology and ethnography—and the human from society and culture. After Ethnos will be released fall 2018.

To learn more about the lecturers that will be featured, visit the Deep Humanities Series page at