ITI Lethica - Literatures, Ethics & Arts - MISHA - Maison Interuniversitaire des Sciences de l'Homme - Alsace - Université de Strasbourg

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Lethica is an Interdisciplinary Thematic Institute, part of the ITI 2021-2028 program of the University of Strasbourg, CNRS and Inserm. It's a research unit wich builds new bridges and synergies between the arts, literature, the humanities and the health and life sciences.

Lethica addresses three global goals:

• Demonstrate the intake of literary and artistic practices for ethical thinking;
• Elaborate new heuristic and critical skills for students and teachers-researchers in the fields of arts, literature and languages (approaches to ethical questions);
• Elaborate new analytical and practical skills for professionals in social mediation, health and care: functions and functioning of narratives, scenarios, images, dialogizations and vocalizations in ethical relations and questionings.

Thematically, Lethica has selected four major contemporary issues, to be explored in the long term, alternatively or consecutively, and meant to give way to interdisciplinary programs and specific topics of investigation. Those themes were the issues of “triage”, “moral revolutions”, “secrecy and transparency”, and “case making and caring”. Lethica thus intends to address pressing societal challenges, such as the spread of a sorting paradigm (“triage”) from military medicine to emergency medicine, humanitarian aid and a number of economical, social and geopolitical relations; the proliferation and acceleration of moral revolutions, as a consequence of globalization and mediatization, as well as the subsequent multiplication of ethical conflicts within or between western and non-western societies; the public and democratic call for transparency, which tends to be constrained by political strategies and economic interests; the expansion of new paradigms and ethical issues (vulnerability, durability) regarding new situations and conditions for human and animal life (bioethics, animal ethics). In the international context of the COVID 19 pandemia, of recurring terrorist attacks, of disputed democratic elections, Lethica’s selected topics are more than ever relevant ones, and they will be explored in the next 8 years according to four general perspectives, as sketched in the original project : “historical approaches”, “intercultural outlooks”, “artistic research” and “ethics-therapeutics joint”.

As a thematic interdisciplinary institute it brings together around 100 scholars in visual and plastic arts, drama and film studies, French and Comparative literatures, studies in European and Eastern languages and literatures, theology, sociology, philosophy and medical studies (especially geriatric medicine).

This work of the Interdisciplinary Thematic Institute LETHICA, as part of the ITI 2021-2028 program of the University of Strasbourg, CNRS and Inserm, was supported by IdEx Unistra (ANR-10-IDEX-0002), and by SFRI-STRAT’US project (ANR-20-SFRI-0012) under the framework of the French Investments for the Future Program.

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