The Institute for Philosophy and the New Humanities



Markus Gabriel


Chair for epistemology, modern and contemporary philosophy. Markus is the director of the International Centre for Philosophy at the University of Bonn, and is also running the Center for Science and Thought


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Paul Kottman

Paul A. Kottman is a Professor of Comparative Literature at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where he is Chair of the Committee on Liberal Studies, and is affiliated with the Philosophy Department.


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Zed Adams

Zed Adams is Associate professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at the New School for Social Research.


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Keynote Speakers

Joel Snyder

Joel Snyder is a Professor of Art History in the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities, the Committee on the Visual Arts, and the College at the University of Chicago. His interests include the history of photography, theory of photography and film; history and theory of perspective, Medieval and Renaissance theory of vision; critical theory, aesthetics and the theory of representation. He is Co-Editor of the journal Critical Inquiry, a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences. His many publications include His books include: Gentlemen Photographers: the Work of Loring Underwood and Wm. Lyman Underwood (Solio Foundation, 1987), American Frontiers: The Photographs of Timothy H. O’Sullivan, 1867-1874 (Aperture, 1981), and The Documentary Photograph as a Work of Art: American Photographs, 1860-1876 (David and Alfred Smart Gallery, 1976).

Elisabeth Camp

Elisabeth Camp is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, having previously been a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows and Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Her focus is on forms of thought and talk that don’t fit the standard philosophical model of mind and language. Amongst her many articles are “Sarcasm, Pretense, and the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction,” Noûs 46:4 (December 2012) and “Putting Thoughts to Work: Concepts, Systematicity, and Stimulus-Independence,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78:2. She has also been involved in designing and implementing programs for GED instruction in public housing and for ESL instruction in the Latino community, working especially with the Chicago Public Library and Universidad Popular.

Homi K. Bhabha

Homi K. Bhabha is Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities and Senior Advisor on the Humanities to the President and Provost at Harvard University. A leading scholar of literature and postcolonial theorist, his work focuses on cultural change and power, and cosmopolitanism. His highly influential work, which has been translated into multiple languages, includes The Location of Culture (2004, Routledge Classics), Framing Fanon (2005), and Beyond Photography (2011).

Agnes Callard

Agnes Callard is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Chicago, focussing primarily on ethics and ancient philosophy. Alongside a variety of articles, her publications include Aspiration: The Agency of Becoming (2018, Oxford) and the widely celebrated On Anger (2020, MIT Press). She is also known for her strong commitment to public engagement on behalf of philosophy, having published in the Boston Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Times amongst several other forums.

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Gumbrecht_photo1_Eugene Galyona

Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the emeritus Albert Guérard Professor in Literature and emeritus Professor of Comparative Literature and of French and Italian at Stanford University. One of the world’s most renowned literary theorists, he has made notable contributions to our understandings of national literatures in Romance and Germanic languages, the methodology of literary criticism and analysis, and the nature of contemporary aesthetic experience. He has written several hundred publications, which have been translated into over twenty languages.

Forum Humanum Fellowship Holders

Lena Marie Brinkmann

Lena Marie Brinkmann works as a research assistant at the Research Training Group 2291: Present / Literature at the University of Bonn. Her doctoral project deals with the renaissance of the village story genre. Following on from the 19th century, the inn also forms a central site of local community and narrative in current contemporary literature. Her research interests include spatial theory, intermediality, and realism.

Larissa Bolte

Larissa Bolte is a PhD student at the University of Bonn and works as a research assistant at the Institute for Science and Ethics as part of the Sustainable AI Lab. Her dissertation focusses on the conceptual foundations of sustainability, investigating how these can inform AI ethics. Her main research interests are in metaethics, normative foundations, and ethics of technology.

Victor Weisbrod

Victor Weisbrod is a Ph.D. student at the University of Bonn. His dissertation aims to reconstruct Adorno’s negative dialectics as a systematic project to transform metaphysics from a form of theory that claims thought and being are structurally identical to one that investigates the gaps and tensions between them. His main research interests are (post-)Kantian philosophy, critical theory, and contemporary (meta-)metaphysics.

Soo Min Kim

Soo Min Kim is Ph.D student and research assistant at the Chair of Public Law (Prof. Dr. Gärditz) at the University of Bonn. In her doctoral studies she reflects how German Public Law operates with – in particular scientific – facts. Based on the understanding that facts are social constructs, the dissertation aims to propound a suitable concept for the legal system in terms of investigation, selection, application and control of facts.

Antonetta Stephany

Antonetta Stephany is studying for a PhD in law at the University of Bonn and works as a research assistant in the research project “Restatement of Restitution Rules for Nazi-Confiscated Art”. Her dissertation focuses on procedural aspects regarding the restitution of Nazi Looted Art.

Scott Robbins

Scott Robbins is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Science and Thought at the University of Bonn. He received his PhD in the ethics of artificial intelligence at the University of Delft in the Netherlands. Scott’s research has focused on the opacity of machine learning algorithms and the implications this has for humans retaining meaningful human control over them. He has publications in Minds and Machines, Science and Engineering Ethics, and, AI & Society. Scott is also a founding member of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics.

Julia Mierbach

Julia Mierbach is a PhD student and research assistant at the University of Bonn and the Competence Center for Cybersecurity in North-Rhine Westphalia. Her dissertation explores the history of figurative seriality since the 17th century. Her research interests include cross-relationships between (digital) technologies, aesthetics and literature and their effects on society and economy.

Past Forum Humanum Lecturers

Stuart Russell

Stuart Russell

Stuart Russell is Professor of Computer Science and Smith-Zadeh Professor in Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and the founder of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence (CHAI). The recipient of numerous awards, Professor Russell is one of the most renowned figures in contemporary computer science and AI research, and his Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach has since become one of the standard textbooks on artificial intelligence.

Past Keynote Speakers

Jill Lepore


Jill Lepore is David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and staff writer at the New Yorker. She is a leading expert on American history, law and politics, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, Foreign Affairs and numerous other publications. The author of many award-winning books, including the international bestseller These Truths: A History of the United States, her latest book is IF THEN: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, which has been longlisted for the National Book Award.

Alice Crary


Alice Crary is University Distinguished Professor, Philosophy, The New School for Social Research. She is a well-known for her writings on moral thought and critical theory, for investigations of the ethical representations of humans and animals, and as a scholar of the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein. She has held visiting appointments at several prestigious institutions, and her latest book is Inside Ethics: On the Demands of Moral Thought (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Bayo Akomolafe


Bayo Akomolafe is an acclaimed speaker, essayist, public intellectual educator. He has taught at several universities across the globe and in 2014 was invited to be the Special Envoy of the International Alliance for Localization, a project of Ancient Futures (USA). He is the author of the books These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home and We Will Tell our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak.

Lorraine Daston


Lorraine Daston is a world-renowned historian and philosopher of science. She is Director emerita of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, and visiting professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She has published numerous books on a range of topics, including the history of probability and statistics, the emergence of the scientific fact, scientific models, the moral authority of nature, and the history of scientific objectivity. Her most recent book, Against Nature, explores the human tendency to see moral meaning in nature.

Monica Kaup

Monica Kaup is Professor in the Department of English at the University of Washington. Her research interests span hemispheric American and borderlands literature, the baroque/neobaroque/New World baroque, Latin American literature and critical theory. She is the author of Rewriting North American Borders in Chicano and Chicana Narrative (New York: Peter Lang, 2001) and Neobaroque in the Americas: Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film (University of Virginia Press, 2012) amongst other works. Her latest book is New Ecological Realisms: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Contemporary Theory is published in the “Speculative Realism” series of Edinburgh University Press.

Brian Cantwell Smith

Brian Cantwell Smith

Brian Cantwell Smith is the Reid Hoffman Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Human at the University of Toronto. He received his BS, MS and PhD degrees from MIT. He has also taught at Stanford, Indiana, and Duke. He is the author of The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment (MIT 2019) and On the Origin of Objects (MIT 1996).

Jessica Riskin

Jessica Riskin

 Jessica Riskin is Professor of History at Stanford University. She received her PhD from Berkley and her AB from Harvard. She has also taught at MIT and Sciences Po, Paris. She is the author of The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick (Chicago 2016) and Science in the Age of Sensibility: The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment (Chicago 2002). 

Susan Schneider

Susan Schneider

Susan Schneider is a leading philosopher of mind, cognitive scientist and public intellectual. Amongst several other appointments, she holds the NASA-Baruch Blumberg Chair at Library of Congress and NASA and is Pofessor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science at the University of Connecticut. Her most recent book is the hugely acclaimed Artificial You: AI and the Future of Your Mind.

Nell Watson

Nell Watson

Eleanor “Nell” Watson is a Machine Intelligence engineer and faculty at the Singularity University. A pioneer of Deep Machine Vision, she is also a prominent voice on the ethics and politics of AI technology, serving multiple advisory roles and holding multiple fellowships. Amongst her many roles, she serves as Chair of the IEEE’s ECPAIS Transparency Experts Focus Group and Vice-Chair of the P7001 Transparency of Autonomous Systems committee on AI Ethics & Safety, which is dedicated to safeguarding algorithmic trust.

Jens Schröter

Jens Schröter

Jens Schröter has Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Bonn since 2015, having previously been the director of the DFG Research Training Group ‘Locating Media’ in Siegen. A leading media theorist, his areas of specialization include the history and theory of digital media and photography, intermediality and the interaction of media studies and value theory. Amongst his many books and publications are 3D. History, Theory and Aesthetics of the Technical-transplane Image and Verdrahtet. The Wire und der Kampf um die Medien.

Past Forum Humanum Fellowship Holders

Esther Gardei


Esther Gardei is a PhD student at the University of Bonn and works as a research assistant in the interdisciplinary and intercultural reconciliation project at the University of Bonn. Her main research interests are sociology of knowledge, the relationship of thought and context, biographical studies, memory studies and antisemitism. Her dissertation focuses on the history of German Jewry in Palestine/Israel.

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Apolline Taillandier


Apolline Taillandier is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Science and Thought at the University of Bonn, and at the Department of Politics and International Studies and the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. She holds a PhD from Sciences Po, Paris. Her research intersects the history of liberalism and the history of science and technology from the postwar onwards. In her current project, she studies the role of feminist theories and activism in AI (1980s-present).

Natalie Dederichs

Natalie Dederichs

Natalie Dederichs is a doctoral candidate at the University of Bonn, where she also works as a research assistant at the RTG 2291: Gegenwart / Literatur. Her thesis discusses the affective agency of (uncanny) literary atmospheres in contemporary ecofiction. Her research interests include material ecocriticism, theories of reading, post- and transhumanist discourse, and anglophone literatures and cultures of the 20th and 21st century.

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Sergio Genovesi

Sergio Genovesi

Sergio Genovesi is a Ph.D. student and a research associate at the University of Bonn. His dissertation focuses on the contemporary philosophy of events. His main research interests are epistemology, ontology, aesthetics, and ethics of technology.

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Ying Huang

Ying Huang

Dr. Ying Huang is a Research Fellow at the Center for Global Studies (CGS)/the Chair of International Relations at the University of Bonn. In 2019, she received her doctoral degree with the thesis: “The China policy of the Federal Republic of Germany after the reunification: value-oriented or interest-led?”, published by Springer VS. Her field of expertise includes the analysis of international relations and foreign affairs, the impact of Artificial Intelligence on international politics, the German foreign Policy and Chinese security and foreign policy.


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Mara Nogai

Mara Nogai

Mara Nogai is a PhD student of Italian Linguistics at the University of Bonn. Her main research interest is the connection between language and cognition. She studied German and Italian Studies in Perugia, Bonn, Florence, Turin and Düsseldorf.


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Tobias Keiling


Tobias Keiling is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Bonn. Working on questions in metaphysics, epistemology, and aesthetics. Working with authors in the tradition of hermeneutics and phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer).


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Charlotte Gauvry

Charlotte Gauvry

Charlotte Gauvry is a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy at the University of Bonn (wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin at the chair of Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy) and is currently working on the philosophy of mind, specifically on different strategies in the project of naturalizing phenomenal consciousness.


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Christoph Ernst

Christoph Ernst

Christoph Ernst, PD Dr., is a research associate within the project “Van Gogh TV. Multimedia Documentation and Analysis of their Legacy” (Prof. Anja Stöffler & Prof. Dr. Jens Schröter) funded by the German Reserach Foundation (DFG) at the Department of Media Studies of the University of Bonn. His main research interests include diagrammatic reasoning & media aesthetics of information visualization; theories of tacit knowledge & digital media, esp. interface theory and artificial intelligence; media theory & media philosophy, esp. media and imagination.


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Sonja Dobkowitz

Sonja Dobkowitz

Sonja Dobkowitz is a PhD candidate at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics and a member of the Research Training Group 2281 The Macroeconomics of Inequality. Besides her PhD, she studies Philosophy and History Studies at the University of Bonn intending to integrate philosophical considerations into her economic research. Her work focuses primarily on the meaning of inequality for the individual and its effects on aggregate outcomes.


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Dana Bönisch

Dana Bönisch

Dana Bönisch is a staff member of the Comparative Literature department, University of Bonn. Her postdoc project explores entanglements of literature and physics, as well as the figure of entanglement itself. Her research interests include visual theory and the relationship between fiction and ethics.

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Max Alt

Max Alt

Max Alt is research assistant in Musicology/Sound Studies at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn. A trained audio engineer, he studied Musicology and Cultural Studies at the Humboldt-University Berlin and the University of Copenhagen. His current project (PhD) covers the discourses around the datafication of music listening and personalized listening technologies.


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