News Release| 2011 Conference on Modernity, Critique and Humanism; Cal State L.A.

February 9, 2011

Conference organizer:

Professor Roberto Cantú, Professor of Chicano Studies/English

California State University, Los Angeles

(323) 343-2195, [email protected] 

For conference information and schedule:


Scholars from 16 nations to explore modernity, critique and humanism

American philosopher to keynote two-day conference at Cal State L.A.

Los Angeles, CA – On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 12-13, Cal State L.A. will host a free public forum to address ways in which modernity, critique and humanism can be imagined, reasoned and practiced in a world that has become increasingly interdependent.

The 2011 Conference on Modernity, Critique and Humanism includes a dozen panels and lectures ranging in topics from humanism, the arts and the corporate culture industry to borderlands and globalization. Other sessions will cover, among other topics, 15th-century manuscripts; cultural traditions, historical change, and technology; civil conflicts in Sri Lanka; and South Asian diasporic fiction.

There will be panel presentations by more than 45 scholars, including 14 from Cal State L.A. and several from other U.S. universities, and others representing 15 different nations, such as Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and Canada. 

The conference opens on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with sessions to continue until 6 p.m., followed by a featured lecture titled “Intercultural Humanism:  Idea and Reality,” by German philosopher Jörn Rüsen. Dinner is scheduled for 7:15-9 p.m.

The Sunday program will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a keynote lecture from 6-7:15 p.m. by American philosopher Richard J. Bernstein, entitled “What is Critique?” Bernstein is the Vera List Professor of Philosophy from The New School for Social Research in New York. A dinner banquet follows until 9 p.m. All meals are open to the general public.   

The two-day conference will also feature the following distinguished speakers Isak Winkel Holm, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Stephen Shepherd, associate director of The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive in University of Virginia and Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts in Loyola Mount University; and Marshall Berman, distinguished professor of political science, City University of New York.

For the complete conference schedule:

This conference is co-organized by Oliver Kozlarek of México, Bidhan Chandra Roy of Cal State L.A., and Michael Calabrese of Cal State L.A. It is also sponsored by the University of Copenhagen (Denmark); Universidad de Guadalajara en Los Angeles; Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (México); Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa (México); Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, México); the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series; the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics; the College of Arts and Letters; the College of Natural and Social Sciences; and the Departments of Chicano Studies, English, and Modern Languages and Literatures at Cal State L.A.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.