Call for papers

Dernière mise à jour : 19 août 2021

International colloquium organized by the African Academics Federation (AAF). 07, 08, 09 April 2021. University of Lome-Togo


Theme: “Humanism, Modernity and Emergence of societies in the 21th century in Literature, Art and Social sciences”


Humanism and Modern Times operated in the 15th century and the adjective “humanistic” attested in the 16th century appear to be an invention of the Enlightenment. In philosophy, humanism places the human being and its development above all other values. In literary history, it is a Renaissance Movement characterized by an effort to raise the dignity of the human spirit, its enhancement and a return to the Greco-Latin sources. However, do we have to confuse the concept of humanism with that of the Renaissance?

“Humanism” therefore appears to be a humanity project that relies on the medieval heritage achieved in the Renaissance. It becomes the expression of evolutions that generate other forms of artistic creations, such as painting, architecture, sculpture and music. In this way, Rabelais, Erasmus, Montaigne, being committed humanists, based their ideas on the Human that they position at the center of the world.

With the Age of Enlightenment, humanism is no more regarded as nature, but as culture, thus justifying Erasmus’ statement in the following terms: “Men are not born, they are made”.

Since then, the advent of a new type of man within the modern society characterized by conflicts of any kinds, alienations caused by technology, the spread of dictatorial and authoritarian regimes, the rise of the migration phenomena, xenophobia and rejection of the other, require action and engagement. All these forms of intolerance counteract the initial project of humanism elaborated in the 16th century.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, one witnesses a dispute of humanism that declines itself in diverse modulations starting from prefixes like “anti”, “post”, “trans”, “hyper” whose meanings never stops changing. What is still left of the humanistic spirit? What is the future of this noble movement of idea, if the literature, culture and arts shift away from the humanistic issues? How then can we imagine the human’s future in today’s societies?

The rereading of the founding texts of literary persons and philosophers and those of postmodernity authors remains an absolute necessity in order to detect the interference links between the two visions of the world. In this context of globalization and interculturality, everyone tries to culturalize humanism and postmodernity. Thus, can we talk about one or several humanisms? What about the representative expressions of anti-humanism in the modern and postmodern societies? Is it possible to talk about a new humanism that takes interest in minority rights and marginalized and peripheral cultures (Le Clézio and Lotman…)? In which way do cultural, identity and racial barriers constitute obstacles to a new humanization of the world? To what extent has the learning of foreign languages contributed to humanize and renew our view, to enrich our culture and to transform our visions and convictions?

How could humanism in literature participate effectively in the emergence of human society? How could it help our policy makers lead our societies to a real expansion?

This colloquium offers to meditate on the human through humanism in the social and economic evolution of the society. The awaited papers could fit within the following lines:

1 – Humanism and Renaissance in the social and societal dynamics;

2 – The modern representations of Humanism in literature, arts and social sciences;

3 – Humanism, interculturality, multilingualism and postmodernity;

4 – Humanism, good governance and development of societies;

5 – Humanism, human rights and freedom.

Paper proposals of the participants

Send to .

(Times New Roman 12pt font, 1,5 line spacing):

Surname and name of the speaker, institution of origin, country;

Title of the paper (Times New Roman 12pt font, bold and centered;

Context of the paper;

Summary of the paper in 250 to 300 words at the most;

Brief bibliographic record of the participant.

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