The International Council
for Philosophy and Human Sciences

Sustainability, Social Relevance, and The Humanities: Opportunities and Challenges




Words of Welcome, Opening Remarks & Talks (45 minutes)

- CIPSH Deputy Secretary General, Prof. Tim Jensen: Words of Welcome (5 minutes)
CIPSH Secretary General, Prof. Hsiung Ping-Chen: Words of Welcome (5 minutes)
UNESCO Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences Dr. Gabriela Ramos: Opening Remarks (5 minutes) (tbc)
CIPSH President Prof. Luiz Oosterbeek: Opening Talk (15 minutes)
SDU Pro-Rector Prof. Sebastian Mernild: Opening Talk (15 minutes)

4-5 Keynotes (Each 25 minutes presentation + 20 minutes questions & comments)

- Sverker Sörlin
Anders Engberg-Pedersen
Helle Porsdam
Satoko Fujiwara
Tyrus Miller

Each keynote speaker sends a brief abstract (half a page or so) to Tim Jensen, and Mette Horstmann Noeddeskou, no later than November 15.

Roundtables (each presenter, chair included, 5 minutes)

Total time, as well as number of participants, for each roundtable is flexible as it depends on number of participants (and possible) discussants.
Chair opens by ever so briefly outlining his/her own take on the theme.
After the presentations, the chair invites questions and comments from participants and from the floor.

Each presenter sends (to Tim Jensen, and Mette Horstmann Noeddeskou, no later than November 1, an extended abstract (max. 2 pages, including one or two references). Abstracts are circulated to the chairs and to all conference participants in advance of the conference.

The steering committee has formulated brief abstracts to indicate its intentions with the overall theme and the various roundtable themes.

As for the overall theme the text runs:

As the leading global humanities organization, a world-wide umbrella organization for the most prestigious international and regional learned societies within the humanities, the CIPSH has a mandate and a mission to ensure that the human sciences remain scientifically sound as well as of social relevance, also in regard to sustainability. Achieving sustainability requires striking a balance between, on the one hand, being visibly and immediately relevant and, on the other hand, being, at least to the world extra mura, less visible and not immediately relevant.

How and in what ways can CIPSH and its member organizations help humanities strike that balance at the same time as demands, from non-scholars and from scholars, for immediate and visible relevance are growing? What kind of opportunities, and what kind of risks, do the humanities face and what kind of answers can scholars provide - also to the global challenges of humankind and the planet?

The CIPSH encourages critical reflection and discussion on these issues, and we are pleased to call for this international conference, co-hosted by CIPSH and the Faculty of the Humanities at the University of Southern Denmark, in order for CIPSH, its members and invited guests to discuss the above-mentioned matters, including the general methodological approaches and challenges as well as actual practices and current challenges across disciplines and geographic areas.

The Conference will include five roundtables, each introduced by invited speakers and followed by an open debate.

As for the roundtables, see the texts below linked to each roundtable

1. Understanding the Humanities. Chair Hsiung Ping-Chen

This roundtable invites internationally recognized scholars and leaders to, from each their scientific, professional and personal position and perspective, ponder and put forward their concepts of and visions for the humanities/human sciences (including their relation to social and natural sciences). They have also been invited to discuss how individual scholars can or maybe even ought to position themselves, in intellectual, epistemological and strategic terms, as well as how an organization like CIPSH with its membership of learned societies can or maybe ought position itself.


- Wilhelm Krull
Rosi Braidotti (tbc)
Adama Samassekou
Armin W. Geertz
Jesus de la Villa


2. The Humanities and the SDGs. Chair Philip Buckley

This roundtable intends to engage senior colleagues holding key positions in national or international organizations, inter-governmental, governmental and academic, to share their experiences and thoughts in keeping humanities sustainable, while charting a future that meet the Sustainable Development Goals, framing the sustainability debate into a mid and long term understanding, which may contribute to a rigorous debate encompassing a diversity of experiences and visions. Each participant is supposed to ever so briefly reflect on the relevance of her approach and thoughts to the overall theme of the conference.


­- Hiltraud Casper Hehne
Dr. Gabriela Ramos (tbc)
Laura Feldt


3. The Humanities, Technology and AI – and 'Techumanities'. Chair David Goldberg

Technology is a key dimension of human behavior, intrinsically connected to cultural dynamics and identities, influencing societies, the world at large, and human ways of thinking and behaving in a variety of ways. This roundtable builds on this understanding and addresses contemporary research and approaches, linking technology and the humanities, from big data processing to ethical concerns. Scholars in the history of science, tech-humanities and beyond will help exemplify ways in which humanities and technology 'interact' as well as highlight theoretical, methodological and epistemological and ethical issues and implications relevant to the overall theme of the conference


- Catherine Jami
­Peng Qinglong
Harold Sjursen
Kathrin Maurer

4. The Humanities and Health – and 'Health Humanities'. Chair Hsiu-Hsi Chen

Caught at the moment, as is the case with most of the world of human societies, in a troubling pandemic as well ecological and climate crisis, 'health', human, planetary, social health, emerges as an axis that organizes public and academic debates, promoting the convergence of hitherto hitherto separated dimensions in worldwide academic and political discussion of human, cultural and social intentions, dilemmas and values (including the value of individual human lives), - a 'terrain' well known to the human sciences. What is called 'Health Humanities' has thus been a field on the rise, and the participants to the roundtable will exchange scholarly experiences, strategies, and resources in order to contribute to and further ongoing endeavors. Each participant is also supposed to ever so briefly reflect on the relevance of her approach to the overall theme of the conference.


- Noel Salazar
Vladimir Kolosov
Adams Bodomo
­Anna Paldam Folker

5. The Humanities, Museums, and Art. Chair Zoltan Someghyi

Museums (as well as libraries and archives) are key institutions with their assigned role to preserve, transmit and anchor historical and cultural 'artefacts', human and cultural heritage. They are, thus, now as before, 'treasure houses' for global as well as local humankind – and close collaborators with scholars in a wide variety of the human sciences. Arts (including 'artefacts' in museums) are often viewed as standing on common grounds with the humanities at large, and art history, aesthetics, literary studies etc. are all engaged in analyzing, interpreting, understanding and explaining different kinds of art.
Many member associations of the CIPSH are thus engaged in studies of art, including studies in the various relations between art and the humanities. CIPSH itself, moreover, has recently launched a specific project (with its own journal HAS) on “Humanities, Arts and Society”, in an attempt to bridge these two neighboring, different as well as overlapping, domains.
Roundtable participants are invited to revisit this 'relatedness' as well as to link their reflections to the overall theme of the conference.


- Luisa Migliorati
Renaldas Gudauskas
Rosalind I.J. Hackett
Flemming G. Andersen
Anders Munch


1. The Global History of Humankind Project (30 minutes)
A Presentation by Laurent Tissot, Katja Naumann and Matthias Middell

2. World Logic Day (15 minutes; 10+5)
A Presentation by Benedikt Loewe (tbc)
Response by William L. McBride

3. BRIDGES (tbc)

4. NN (tbc)


Organising Steering Committee

- Luiz Oosterbeek, President of CIPSH
- Hsiung Ping-Chen, Secretary General of CIPSH
- Tim Jensen, Deputy Secretary General of CIPSH and Senior Lecturer at the University of Southern Denmark
- Simon Møberg Torp, Dean, Faculty of the Humanities, University of Southern Denmark
- Lars G. Binderup, Vice-Dean, Faculty of the Humanities, University of Southern Denmark
- Gitta Stærmose, Secretary, Faculty of the Humanities, University of Southern Denmark



November 17, 2021