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Humanism, Social Resilience and Artistic Imagination - place for three external PhD students

Chair group

Humanism, Social Resilience and Artistic Imagination 

You can also have a look on the Dutch website.

Supervisor

Prof. dr.  Anja Machielse, Professor of Humanism and Social Resilience 

Short introduction into the research field

The term humanism refers to both intellectual and artistic traditions in Western culture that relate critically to religious, philosophical, scientific, and other ideas and practices, and which in different, critical ways endeavor to better humanity. Contemporary humanism is usually understood to be a worldview or a moral perspective, wherein human values, interests, and dignity are considered particularly important. This worldview or meaning frame sets standards of human welfare and moral progress, irrespective of religious beliefs, that provide orientation and criteria to evaluate situations and one’s life course. In its orientation on humaneness, humanism stands for values such as liberty, responsibility, justice, solidarity, pluralism, and sustainability. 


ChairHumanism, Social Resilience and Artistic Imagination 
Supervisors Prof. dr. Anja Machielse and dr. Marieke van den Doel 

Field of Research:  a) Humanism and artistic imagination 

Since the Renaissance, Western humanism also occurs as an artistic tradition of visual and performing arts, literature, and music. The arts teach us many things about man and culture, in different ways than philosophy or the social sciences do. Numerous paintings, sculptures, and works of architecture, pieces of theatre and music bear witness of both the grandeur and beauty of human being as well as the vulnerability and transiency of human existence. Literary works explore anthropological and cultural-philosophical subjects and motives, as well as philosophical questions. In today's visual culture, artistic imagination provides an indispensable complement to scientific knowledge on human nature and culture. 

Examples of research questions

- How can artistic imagination respond to the challenges and insecurities in our 'late modern' times? 

- How can artistic imagination play a formative and transformative role towards a more humane society, not just for the individual, but also for the community and society at large? 

- How have artists responded to, visualized or appropriated questions, raised by specific humanistic traditions (for instance Renaissance humanism, modern humanism, ecohumanism)? 

Place for:

 1 external PhD student 

Contact 

A.Machielse@UvH.nl

ChairHumanism, Social Resilience and Artistic Imagination 
Supervisors Prof. dr. Anja Machielse

Field of Research:  b) Humanism and social resilience 

Although moral agency and self-realisation are important premises of a humanist meaning frame, the self is understood as profoundly social, implying that the shaping of one's own world always takes place in connection with others. Therefore, a key concept in contemporary humanism is social resilience, understood as the individual and collective capacity of people to permanently realise a dignified autonomy in thinking and acting. In the humanist approach, social resilience is a normative concept that pertains both to how individuals respond to social pressure and adversity, and to responses at the collective level in the form of social recognition and solidarity. The humanist concept of social resilience emphasizes the embeddedness of human beings in their particular social environment and empathically addresses questions on moral agency, and the rules and norms that both structure and are structured by social practices. 

Examples of research questions

- Which contribution can humanism make to strengthening social resilience, both at the individual level and the collective level of communities?

- How can people sustain autonomy in thinking and acting in response to the pressure of (rules and norms of) the social environment?

Place for:

 1 external PhD student

Contact 

A.Machielse@UvH.nl

ChairHumanism, Social Resilience and Artistic Imagination 
Supervisors Prof. dr. Annika Smit

Field of Research:  c) Social resilience within the Dutch police

The normative concept of social resilience needs to be explored within the organisation of the Dutch police. The present COVID-19 measures and public discontent surrounding it, affect police in different ways. First, the societal pressures form a professional challenge (both on individual officers and on the organisation). Second, the police officers are also civilians themselves and their discontent may also grow concerning COVID-19 measures. Differences between police officers within teams are growing, according to police management. It seems the sometimes clashing differences visible in our society, are also present within the police organisation. 

Examples of research questions

- What type of (potential clashing) social discontent is currently experienced by police officers in Basisteams?

- How do these police officers exercise moral agency?

- How can the police organisation stimulate responsible moral agency?   

Place for:

 1 external PhD student

Contact 

a.smit@UvH.nl

Supervised by professor Anja Machielse.