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Since the late 90s humanities and the social sciences have been going through major changes (paradigm shift) caused by a decline of postmodernist influence and the emergence of nonanthropocentric humanities stimulated by a set of variously defined tendencies which can be gathered under the term posthumanism. This talk would consider how the inspirations coming from posthumanism and its iconic scholars (Rosi Braidotti, Jane Bennett, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Cary Wolfe, among others), affect historical reflection and what kind of challenges and opportunities they present to historical studies. As an example, the talk will present the difference between the treatment of animals as an interesting topic of historical research and the possibility of a non-anthropocentric and multispecies historiography inspired by posthumanism and animal studies. The question remains: what would a post-human (or posthumanist) history look like? What is the function of historical theory in the discussion on posthumanism, posthumanities and the posthuman and vice versa - what is the function of posthumanist theories in historical reflection?
Ewa Domanska is professor of human sciences and holds her permanent position at the Department of History, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. Since 2002 she is a recurring visiting professor at Anthropology Department at Stanford University. Her teaching and research interests include comparative theory of the humanities and social sciences, history and theory of historiography and genocide and ecocide studies. She is the author and editor of 18 books. Her more recent publications include: History-Today (ed. with Rafal Stobiecki and Tomasz Wislicz, 2014, in Polish), Jerzy Topolski, Theoretical Problems of Historical Knowledge (ed. 2016, in Polish), Necros. Introduction to an Ontology of Dead Body (2017, in Polish); "Retroactive Ancestral Constitution and Alter-Native Modernities." Storia della Storiografia, vol. 65, no. 1, 2014: 61-75; "Ecological Humanities." Teksty Drugie/Second Texts, no. 1, 2015: 186-210; "Animal History." History and Theory, vol. 56, no. 2, 2017: 265-285.