Call: New Agents and Agencies: Science, Technology, and Subjectivity Summer School

Call for Applications

New Agents and Agencies: Science, Technology, and Subjectivity
2018 Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Summer School
July 8-12 2018
Tel Aviv University

Deadline for submission: February 15, 2018

Dear all,

We are pleased to invite applications for the 2018 Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Summer School on New Agents & Agencies: Science, Technology & Subjectivity.

With the rise of new technology-centered environments – such as social media, virtual worlds, online marketing, gaming, smart homes, and city surveillance – we face the growing presence of nonhuman agents and new forms of human agencies. We invite doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to participate in a summer school workshop that delves into these topics. The summer school will provide the setting for advancing our understanding of these new agents and agencies and their ethical, social, political, historical, and philosophical significance. Specifically, we will explore the interaction between (a) nonhuman “agents,” such as robots, AI machines, games, computational algorithms, autonomous cars, and drones, and (b) new forms of technologically mediated human agencies, such as online interactions, new social media, gaming, cyborgs, and avatars. The summer school will be devoted to examining specific forms of new agents and agencies and to studying their differences and similarities. It will address the underlying question as to whether these new phenomena, taken together, entail a transformation of the human condition, and if so, what the social, political, and ethical implications of this change are. During the summer school, participants will attend master class sessions, discuss the theoretical approaches of different disciplines, study applied problems and present their own work.

This five-day summer school is open to postdoctoral and advanced PhD students of all disciplines in the humanities and social sciences such as philosophy, history, psychology, law, sociology, political theory, anthropology, and including new media, computer science biology, and the medical humanities. For more information please visit the workshop’s webpage:

The international summer school is co-sponsored by the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University, the Sidney M. Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.

The summer school will be held at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and will provide overseas students a $500 grant as partial reimbursement of their travel expenses and accommodation costs in Jerusalem. Local participants will receive reimbursement for transportation to and from Jerusalem.

Applications should include:

  • CV
  • Short description of your doctoral proposal or postdoc project (up to one page)
  • Abstract of your proposed original paper to be discussed (please include references for works cited)

The deadline for the submission of all application materials is February 15 2018

Application materials should be submitted by mail to

Please note that we will be expecting participants to send papers for pre-circulation by June 1 2018

Participating Scholars:

  • Prof. David Heyd, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Prof. Guy Hoffman, Cornell University, USA
  • Prof. Hagi Kenaan, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Prof. Noortje Marres, Warwick University, UK
  • Prof. Helen Nissenbaum, New York University, USA
  • Prof. Jennifer Robertson, University of Michigan, USA


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