Faculty Writing: Anthony Alessandrini on Humanism

Anthony Alessandrini wrote a piece, “Humanism and Its Others,” in which he discusses the genealogy of humanism and its entanglement with imperialism, colonization, and the construction of narratives of Western superiority. 

“Who could possibly be against humanism? Wouldn’t this be tantamount to being against humanity—that is, being against oneself? This all depends, of course, on whether you have had the chance to count among those who are considered to be “human” in the first place—or, to put it in the terms of contemporary protests in the United States and elsewhere, whether you are one whose life is seen to matter. The critique of humanism that has emerged in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century is first and foremost an attack upon the dehumanization of certain populations, an attack that has all too often been carried out in the name of humanism itself.”

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