International Conference on Humanities and Higher Education:
19-20th November 2018
This GUNi International Conference aims to be an international meeting to debate on the role of the humanities, and the interrelation between humanities, science and technology in the 21st Century with a special focus on Higher Education. The main objective of the Conference is to open a worldwide debate on the current role of humanities in the social, academic and scientific areas and on their importance to boost a more equitable, more responsible and more democratic society. The event has gathered 160 attendees from 22 countries and from diverse areas of knowledge and fields (education, research, public institutions, organizations) in order to debate on the role of the humanities in the world. The Conference was held on the 19th to 20th November 2018 at the CosmoCaixa Museum in Barcelona. Read more here.
→ The Conference was tweeted live at @GUNi_net, as well as by plenty of speakers and participants, under the hashtag #GUNiHumanities. Read the compilation of tweets here!
→ Presentations and posters (pdf files)
→ Photo Album
→ Summary report
→ Summary video
→ More information about all the GUNi International Conferences
The International Conference is conceived as an integral part of the process of elaboration of the 7th GUNi Higher Education in the World Report (to be published in 2019) which is part of the series “Higher Education in the World Report”, a collective work published as a result of global and regional analysis. Each edition reflects on the key issues and challenges facing higher education and its institutions in the 21st Century to overcome societal issues. Past editions of the Report can be consulted here.
There is a growing concern on the future of the humanities in the higher education system and in our societies at large. At the same time, we are witnessing very deep changes and transformations in our societies, which put us in the face of great challenges when it comes to thinking about the meaning and value of human experience. Basically, these changes can be summarized in three types:
1. Those changes that have to do with the environmental and climatic questions, that radically put in question what we understand by “life” and its conditions.
2. Those that have to do with the scientific and technological changes that are currently being developed, mainly innovations around “artificial intelligence” and “big data” that touch upon neuroscience and genomics and which have consequences on the idea of ourselves as subjects of knowledge and action.
3. Those that have to do with the cultural aspects of a global world, highly interconnected, but at the same time very fragmented and very unequal.
From these three axes of change, we understand that humanities are not a set of disciplines to preserve, but a set of essential activities because of them depends the capacity to elaborate the sense and the value of the human experience in times of change.
We believe therefore that we are in a crucial moment in time in which we are facing huge challenges that need to be addressed. Diagnosis, debate and proposal of actions on these issues is necessary if we want to be able to face current and future changes in a democratic and sustainable way.
For the abovementioned reasons we want to start a process of debate both in Catalonia and internationally and within universities, research centres, governments and businesses to reflect on the role of humanities in the 21st century and the interrelation of knowledge, especially in the realm higher education.
A combination of keynote sessions, workshops and presentation of experiences and cases are bound to make for an engaging and enriching GUNi Conference. Download the Conference Programme - GUNi Humanities 2018 (pdf file).
Registration & Welcome Coffee
GLOBAL CHALLENGES THAT REQUIRE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND HUMANITIES TO BE INTEGRATED: IMPLICATIONS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AND WORLDWIDE APPROACHES (Auditorium)
Marcelo Knobel, Josep A. Planell, Ahmed Bawa and Iman El-Kaffass
Chair/moderator: Josep M. Vilalta
OFFICIAL OPENING WORDS (Auditorium)
Josep A. Planell, President of GUNi and Rector of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC)
Lluís Baulenas, General Secretary at the Inter-University Council of Catalonia (CIC)
Itaf Ben Abdallah, Senior Advisor on Higher Education and Research at the Union for the Mediterranean (UpM)
Ignasi López Verdeguer, Director of the Department of Science at “la Caixa” Banking Foundation
Fostering Epistemological Diversity Through Place-based Approaches to Research and Teaching - Sarah Hunt
Higher Education in the New Era - Federico Mayor Zaragoza
HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS PRESENTATION (Auditorium)
David Bueno, Marina Garcés and Josep Casanovas
Escola Massana, the power of the "and". Crafting thoughts and matter in a cookie
Pep Tornabell and Ada Fontecilla
Workshop 1- Humanities beyond Higher Education (Alpha room)
Marina Garcés, Tahar Labassi and Susana Arias
Workshop 2 - Education with a humanistic approach, teaching for the future (Beta room)
David Bueno, Manale Adnane, Fernando Giráldez and Daniel Breslau
Workshop 3 - Research and Impact: bridging the gap in diverse knowledge fields (Gamma room)
Josep Casanovas, Gemma Derrick and Ismael Ràfols
OFFICIAL CONFERENCE DINNER at the Maritime Museum of Barcelona - offered by the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)
Full-day access to the CosmoCaixa Museum is offered to all attendees.
KEYNOTE: (Agora room)
The Critical Posthumanities - Rosi Braidotti
Chair/Moderator: Marina Garcés
HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS PRESENTATION (Agora room)
David Bueno, Marina Garcés and Josep Casanovas
Escola Massana, the power of the "and". Crafting thoughts and matter in a cookie
Pep Tornabell and Berta Ballestín
Workshop 4 - Gender & Equality: transdisciplinary approaches of gender (Beta room)
Marina Garcés, Josep Joan Moreso, Irene Jorge and Maria Olivella
Workshop 5 - Sustainability & Ethics: Higher Education contributing to the world challenges (Tau room)
David Bueno, Marco Armiero, M.T.Bakare-Odunola and Alireza Omidbakhsh
Workshop 6 - Humanities towards a more equitable, responsible and democratic society (Gamma room)
Josep Casanovas, Paul Benneworth and Joana Ferrer
POSTER WALK and LUNCH
All sessions will be held in English. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the keynote sessions.
The Conference will take place at the CosmoCaixa Science Museum Barcelona. Formerly known as the Science Museum of Barcelona, it closed for renovations in 1998 and reopened in 2004 under its current name. The building was built between 1904-1909 by Josep Domènech i Estapà.
The registration fees include free entrance to the museum, which hosts a wide variety of activities. Highlights of exhibitions include the Flooded Forest, which recreates 1000m2 of an Amazonian rainforest ecosystem; the Geological Wall, comprising seven spectacular sections of real rock which illustrate the world's different geological structures; and the Room of Matter, an enthralling journey through the evolution of matter and life on our planet. Finally, the exhibition "Robots. Humans and Machines" puts forward a series of questions around the artificial human being, which is intended to be seen up to which point the development of robots will be crucial to society of the 21st century.
A combination of keynote talks will be held at the Auditorium and the parallel thematic workshops, held in smaller rooms -Alpha, Agora, Tau and Gamma rooms-, are bound to make for an engaging and participative event. This conference will also allow for networking, all under one roof in the heart of the Mediterranean: Barcelona.
Address: Carrer d'Isaac Newton, 26, 08022 Barcelona
Registration is now open. Please, go to our registration page and fill it in with your personal information. We are looking forward to welcoming you at the GUNi Conference in Barcelona!
Registration fees include:
- access to all conference sessions
- access to the Cosmocaixa Science Museum
- wifi access
- refreshment breaks
More practical information will be provided in due course.
Participants are in charge of arranging accommodation directly with the hotels. GUNi will not be able to make hotel bookings for participants. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Barcelona hosts many international fairs and conferences throughout the year. Please be aware of this when making your reservation and book your accommodation as soon as possible.
ABaC Restaurant Hotel Barcelona GL Monumento 5* Lux. - 15 minutes Walking distance (1km)
Bonanova Suite 3*.- 21 minutes Walking distance (1.4km)
Catalonia Mikado 3*.- 23 minutes Walking distance (1.6km)
Silken St Gervasi 3*.- 24 minutes Walking distance (1.5km)
Catalonia Barcelona 505 4*.- 24 minutes Walking distance (1.6km)
Exe Mitre 3*.- 24 minutes Walking distance (1.5km)
Catalonia Park Güell 3*.- 26 minutes Walking distance (1.8km)
To arrange your stay in Barcelona, you can also contact the travel agency Viatges Veuremón: firstname.lastname@example.org
AB Apartment Barcelona. Conference participants benefit from 5% discount off the pre-payment in any apartment booked with AB Apartment Barcelona which offer over 1000 apartments across the city. Book here and enter the following code at checkout: ACUP18
Barcelona is no more dangerous in terms of theft than any other large European city. However, please keep an eye on your bags and wallets and never put a bag on the back of a chair in a bar, etc. Should you have any form of trouble in this way the conference team will help you. Similarly if you need medical help then also approach the conference team and we will help you out. Please do not leave personal belongings in the hall where the sessions are held. Keep them with you at all times.
In case you are not able to attend, please note that requests for reimbursements must be sent to email@example.com by 19th October 2018 at the latest (CET/GMT+2). 50€ will be retained to cover administration costs. No reimbursements will be made after this date.
If you need more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Barcelona Walking Tour: (12.90€ - optional)
If you arrive to Barcelona earlier on Sunday and you are willing to discover the city, come and join the Barcelona Walking Tour on the evening of the 18th November. "Guided Stories and Legends of the Gothic Quarter" is a guided walking tour through the Gothic Quarter of two hours duration where you will discover the old part of the city. Participants willing to join the tour, please add it when you are making the registration at the Conference.
Barcelona Walking Tour meeting point: 18th November 2018, 17h at Plaça Nova, Barcelona (next to the Barcino letters)
Official Conference Dinner:
The Official Conference Dinner will be held in the medieval shipwards of the emblematic Museu Marítim of Barcelona (Maritime Museum). Even if you can't tell a caravel from a catamaran, the excellent Maritime Museum is worth a visit, as the soaring arches and vaults of the vast former 'drassanes' (shipyards) represent one the most perfectly preserved examples of civil Gothic architecture in Spain. In medieval times, the shipyards sat right on the water's edge and were used to dry-dock, repair and build vessels for the royal fleets. Free entrance at the Maritime Museum will be offered to the Conference participants before the dinner.
The Official Conference Dinner will be offered by the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and provided by the Norai project, a socially responsible initiative promoted to provide employment to young people at risk of social exclusion. Norai is a project of proximity to the area where it is located, the Raval district and the Ciutat Vella District, neighborhoods with a strong singularity and where there are social inequalities. The project also features a strong cultural dimension by promoting research and recovery programs for culinary culture, encouraging locally-based consumption and engaging in information activities to foster this intangible heritage.
Participants willing to join the dinner, please add it at your registration.
Transport to the Official Conference Dinner: transfers from the Conference venue to the Official Conference Dinner will be arranged. The buses will depart between 17.30h and 18h in front of the main entrance of the Museum (Isaac Newton street, 26).
Ticket to the Cosmocaixa Museum:
The registration fees also include free entrance to the CosmoCaixa Museum, a science museum in Barcelona and designed to stimulate people's knowledge and opinion of science through exhibitions and a wide variety of activities. Highlights of exhibitions include the Flooded Forest, which recreates 1000m2 of an Amazonian rainforest ecosystem; the Geological Wall, comprising seven spectacular sections of real rock which illustrate the world's different geological structures; and the Room of Matter, an enthralling journey through the evolution of matter and life on our planet. Finally, the exhibition "Robots. Humans and Machines" puts forward a series of questions around the artificial human being, which is intended to be seen up to which point the development of robots will be crucial to society of the 21st century.