Leros Humanism Seminars

Humanism: the incorporation of the human being into its surrounding species-beings in the production of a space of mutual existence and respect.

The Leros Humanism Seminars/LSH/ΣΛ are a series of yearly intellectual encounters to take place on the island of Leros in the first week of July. Starting with the inaugural event in the week of July 3rd, 2023, the seminars seek to bring together scholars, artists, and activists along with college students and post-graduates (from Greece and abroad), as well as interested local population, in order to (re)consider collectively the multifarious premises of the human as individual and as social living-being while engaging different discourses and practices of conflict, communication, and coexistence.

We are putting this Seminar Series on Leros together as a minimum tribute to this magical island that has given to so many of us so many reasons for stochastic reflection, has pushed our limits of comfortable thought, and has challenged the conceptual certainties of what is a place, what is space, what is existence, what is the human being, what is confinement, what is order and what disorder, who is familiar and who is a stranger, what are the amplitudes and the limits of belonging, just to name a few. And it has done so in perfect dissonance with its physical environment which is nothing short of sublime.

The broad object of the seminars is to field anew the question of “what is human” and how “what is human” is determined in numerous registers of history and life by reconceptualizing humanism away and against its established and unexamined presumptions. Topics and domains of inquiry, to be explored presently and in the coming years, include:

  • Catastrophic environments
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Boundaries and borders
  • Legality and Illegality
  • Critical arts and anti-arts
  • Textures and architectures
  • Confinements and the commons
  • Colonialism in the "metacolony"
  • Genders and sexualities
  • Borderlands and crossings
  • Islands and isolations
  • Structures and infrastructures

The Seminars will take place at Crithoni’s Paradise, Leros.


Seminar Panels

Monday, 3 July, morning

Introductory panel, 10:00- 10:30 am

Neni Panourgiá, Stathis Gourgouris, Theodoros Megaloeconomou, Nikos Panayiotopoulos

Legalities and Illegalities, 10:30 am-12:30 pm

Bernard Harcourt, Athena Athanasiou
Respondent: Jamel West

Confinements and the Commons, 12:30-2:30 pm

Penelope Petsini, Fonda Shen
Respondent: Nitous Anthousi

Break 2:30 - 6:00

Monday, 3 July, afternoon

Sexualities and Boundaries, 6:30-8:30 pm

Elena Tzelepis, Katerina Stefatos, Stathis Gourgouris
Respondent: Jake Lasky

Tuesday, 4 July, morning

Borders and Crossings 10:00-12:00 am

Dimitris Papadopoulos, Aamir Mufti, Ioanna Laliotou
Respondent: Chloe Howe Haralambous

Catastrophic Environments, 12:00-2:00 pm

Adriana Garriga-Lopez, Zissis Kotionis
Respondent: André Pettman

Break 2:00 - 6:00 pm

Tuesday, July 4, afternoon

Infrastructures, Textures and Architectures, 6:00-8:00 pm

Kevin Bone, Saloni Mathur, Phoebe Giannisi
Respondent: Suleiman Hodali


Seminar Workshops

Wednesday, July 5, Morning

Confined Education 10:00-11:00 am

Eileen Gillooly, Neni Panourgiá

Confined Arts 11:00-2:00 pm

Mia Ruyter and Marissa Gutierrez,
Georgia Sarigiannidou and Panayiotis Papadopoulos
Represented by Socrates Papadopoulos

Wednesday, July 5, Afternoon

Anti-catastrophic environments 6:00-8:00 pm

Eugenia Bone, Xanthippi Paschalidou

Music and Tight Spaces Jamming workshop at “ARTEMIS” 8:00- 9:30 pm

Two additional workshops, one on traditional dance and one on traditional song will be run by ARTEMIS

The 2023 Leros Humanism Seminars/LSH are presented by Columbia University

  • The Institute for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Public Life
    • Department of Religion
  • Program in Hellenic Studies
    • Department of Classics
  • Justice Forum
    • Justice-in-Education Initiative, Society of Fellows and the Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Initiative for a Just Society
  • Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought
    • Columbia Law School
  • Columbia Global Centers, Athens
  • Modern Greek Studies Association

with support from:

  • Florida Atlantic University
  • The General State Archives, Local Historical Archive of Leros
  • Historical Archive of Leros
  • Panteion University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Thessaly
  • Cultural and Educational Association “Artemis” of Leros

Visit the Leros Humanism Seminars website to access additional resources and archival material or download a PDF of the 2023 program in English.