Research Seminar on Care for Life and the Common Good

Estela Roselló Soberón is the general coordinator of the Research Seminar on Care for Life and the Common Good at the research institute Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad (C3) of UNAM, National Autonomous University of Mexico. She introduces the research programme of this Research Seminar.

The world in which we live poses challenges typical of any historical situation and the end of an era. The pandemic and its consequences on the physical, emotional and mental health of human beings, the proliferation of many types of violence, inequality, poverty, the depletion of natural resources, as well as the effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity threaten and put in severely risk the possibility of maintaining life on our planet and therefore, of preserving life in society and the diversity of cultures.

This imminent reality makes an urgent call to humanity as a whole, but very specifically, to humanists, scientists, artists and technology professionals to build new types of knowledge, as well as to propose new forms of relationship and new forms to educate and generate a different culture, which makes care one of its fundamental premises.

According to philosophers such as Michel Foucault, Carol Gilligan, Nel Noddings or Joan Tronto, care is the articulating core of human life. The concept and practice of care have been present with all its complexity and diversity of expressions and meanings throughout centuries, and have been the axis of the relationships of the human being with himself, with others and with the environment that surrounds him. In words of María Luisa Vásquez, “the ethos of the human is rooted in care”. Continuing to neglect ourselves, others, nature and all other manifestations of life on Earth can only have one end and this is not encouraging in any way.

In this way, today, studying care and promoting research and the construction of humanistic, scientific and artistic knowledge linked to it, as well as promoting a daily culture of care, must be guiding principles in the search for real solutions and in the understanding of urgent problems related to the preservation of health, the preservation of human dignity, the construction of more equitable and inclusive societies, governability and peaceful conflict resolution, the eradication of violence and multiple expressions of discrimination, the fairer economic and social reproduction, sustainability, community life in harmony with nature or the conservation of the environment and biodiversity.

In accordance with all of the above, it is not surprising that the UN 2030 agenda makes human care one of the strategic issues to think about how to build sustainable and peaceful societies in the future. Education in peace, non-violence and sustainability require an academic, multidisciplinary, deep reflection that reincorporates the dimension of ethics to produce knowledge, culture and technologies that have a real impact in the generation of greater well-being, equity and justice in contemporary and future societies.

The mission of the University Seminar of Care for Life and the Common Good of UNAM, Mexico, is to encourage and promote cutting-edge research and the construction of multidisciplinary and transversal knowledge that articulates the debate of scientific humanism and humanistic science around the necessary care to preserve life in the 21st century. It is a seminar that seeks to produce non-atomized knowledge through articulating the joint study of three axes of human experience, which, although they seem to be disconnected, in reality, must be linked to understand them in their complexity: the relationship between care of human dignity, care for the environment and care for non-violence.

Among other things, the seminar will seek to discuss and reflect on the meaning of the premise of care for the sciences, humanities and arts of our present world, with a view to the future. Also, about who cares for whom in our contemporary societies, about how they do it and why, about what and how we must care to save all the manifestations of human life and culture in the present and in the future, about in what moment the State stopped caring for citizens and the possibility of having a sustainable life or about how we have forgotten to care and what the consequences have been.

The executive coordinators of the Seminar on Care and the Common Good are Lourdes Jiménez Brito, CLACSO researcher and specialist in feminism and culture of care, Mónica Adriana Mendoza, professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, specialist in peacebuilding and human rights and Hugo Garciamarín, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the UNAM, political scientist specialist in the subject of happiness and public policies to generate well-being. Among the researchers that make up the advisory committee of the Seminar are Mexican researchers such as Rocío Amador, Teresa Álvarez Icaza, Pedro Álvarez Icaza, Antonio Azuela, Fernando Escalante Gonzalbo and Virginia Guedea.

The seminar will take into account the academic research focused on understanding the aesthetic, sensitive and subjective experiences around the experience of life care. If you are interested in knowing more about us, please write an email to this address
or take a look at our program

Upcoming Seminar with Jaco Hoffman, 20th of April 2022, 10.00-12.00 (CST)
“Construcción de paz en la Sudáfrica de los noventa y cultura del cuidado”
See the livestream on Youtube



About the author: Estela Roselló Soberón

Estela Roselló Soberón

Estela Roselló Soberón is general coordinator of the Seminar on Care for Life and the Common Good at C3 at the Universidad Autónoma de México, (UNAM). She is a historian and professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and a researcher at the Institute of Historical Research at the same university. Her lines of research in cultural history address the history of women, the body, emotions and otherness.

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