James Miller, co-director of the Humanities Research Center, has been appointed as a distinguished visiting scholar at The John W. Kluge Center of the LIbrary of Congress and will take up a four month residency there starting on September 5, 2023.
The Kluge Center annually brings top scholars and researchers into residence at the Library to distill wisdom from the library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers and the public. Scholars conduct research in the library and participate in informal meetings with Members of Congress and Congressional staff on topics of mutual interest.
The topic of Professor Miller’s research is “Planetary Responsibility and the Spirit of Chinese Innovation.” It aims to draw on Chinese philosophical, religious and ethical thinking to develop a planetary ethic to guide responsible scientific and technological innovation with respect to space exploration and astrobiology.
“Carl Sagan famously asked whether we have the right to interfere in life on Mars, even if it is only microbial life,” noted Professor Miller. “I want to consider these questions of astrobiological ethics from a Chinese philosophical perspective. What can we learn from Chinese wisdom that may fruitfully guide the world as it explores space and searches for extraterrestrial life within our solar system and beyond?”
Professor Miller’s research will contribute to a forthcoming international conference that will be held at DKU in Spring 2024 on the topic of Religious and Cultural Perspectives on Outer Space. The conference, co-organized with DKU professor Ben Van Overmeire aims to bring Chinese and foreign scholars and scientists together to discuss the culture, ethics and values of space exploration and extraterrestrial life.
The Humanities Research Center is pleased to announce the program for our fall literary festival at DKU. The festival features four keynote speakers including authors and critics, and provides students with the opportunity to engage in small seminars with the keynote speakers over a two day conference on Friday and Saturday, September 1-2.
In addition, students can learn about the research labs and projects that are sponsored by the HRC. This is a good way to discover opportunities for research and to meet the faculty and students who are involved.
The festival also celebrates the launch of the new creative writing track as part of the Global Cultural Studies major.
The conference will be preceded by two award-winning film screenings introduced by DKU students and will conclude with literary readings from DKU students, faculty and guests.