The Other Side of Susana Torres “Digital Humanities”

Written on November 21, 2016 by Susana Torres Prieto in IE Humanities Center, Video

In this video Digital Humanities Prof. Susana Torres proposes a new approach to the humanities because, she says, today’s students are iconic – they learn from what they see. This is just one of several reasons she believes that in this digital era the humanities matter more than ever.

Published in the The Other Side of IE Professors


Donald Trump y un Oriente Próximo más inestable

Written on November 11, 2016 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Arts & Cultures & Societies

haizamPor Haizam Amirah Fernández,  Profesor Asociado de Humanidades en IE Business School.

Si alguien le dice que sabe cómo será la política exterior del presidente Donald Trump hacia Oriente Próximo, desconfíe. Si le garantizan que “Trump se moderará”, también. Es probable que quienes hoy afirman eso hace pocos días tenían la certeza de que Hillary Clinton ganaría las elecciones.

Una cosa es segura: A la convulsa región de Oriente Próximo le espera un periodo de mayor incertidumbre y confusión. Cabe imaginar que diversos actores regionales, enfrascados en todo tipo de conflictos y sometidos a crecientes presiones internas y externas, traten de aprovechar la chocante transición en Washington para avanzar sus intereses por todas las vías posibles. También se puede esperar que asuman riesgos mayores que si hubiera ganado Clinton.

Aquellos que puedan hacerlo tratarán de imponer hechos consumados durante los próximos meses, y todos -estados y actores no estatales- pondrán a prueba las orientaciones y los límites de la nueva Administración estadounidense con la que pocos contaban. Sería milagroso que esta nueva etapa no acarreara una mayor inestabilidad en Oriente Próximo y un recrudecimiento de los ‘shocks’ que sacuden la región desde que se frustraran las esperanzas del Despertar árabe de 2011.

A partir del 20 de enero de 2017 habrá un presidente de EEUU novato en política, inexperto en temas internacionales y sin formación en cuestiones militares. Una tarjeta de presentación muy pobre para lidiar con los avisperos de una región como Oriente Próximo en la que Washington ha jugado un papel central durante décadas. Se puede afirmar -con un alto grado de seguridad- que el mundo no se detendrá a la espera de que en el Despacho Oval se pongan al día.

Seguir leyendo en El Mundo


IMG_9099Last October 20th, the IE Humanities Center hosted the first lecture of the Cycle of Conferences “India: Present and Future”, which focused on Economy. This year, the series of lectures will revolve around the largest democracy on earth, studying it from different angles: politically, culturally, socially, etc. Seven activities will be held to fulfil that goal on both campuses, Madrid and Segovia.

The cycle of conferences began with an institutional speech by the director of the cycle, Professor Susana Torres, who explained the reasons behind its organization and took the opportunity to thank everyone that has made it possible. The audience was composed by a mix of students from Madrid and Segovia, faculty, directors, future lecturers and external guests, including India’s Embassy Economic Secretary Mr. Saravanan Balasubramanian.

The opening lecture, “Economy: The Emergence of a New Player”, was chaired by MIM’s Vice Dean Kiron Ravindran who moderated theIMG_9173 conversation with Economic Environment Professor Patricia Gabaldón and CaixaBank India Chief Pradeep Bhargava.

For more than one hour the three members of the panel analysed the challenges that India will have to face during the coming decade, as well as the big leap forward that India has done in the past 25 years. All agreed that education and technology will play the key factor, as production costs are rising. Professor Gabaldón stressed the role of women, which in some cases are being left behind, since when they get married they become a member of their in-law family, thus causing parents lack of investment in a daughter’s education. This led to an interesting point, which for sure is going to be covered in more lectures in the future, namely, how to cope with tradition and social development.

Once the lecture was over all attendees were invited to a cocktail just outside the classroom where students, faculty, staff and guests chatted lively about the present and coming events.

Next conference will be on Politics and be held on November 24thIf you wish to attend please register here


Mary Beard, History as Dialogue

Written on October 28, 2016 by Susana Torres Prieto in Arts & Cultures & Societies

1127By Susana Torres Prieto, Professor of Humanities at IE University.

Last weekend, the awarding ceremony of the prizes Princess of Asturias took place in Oviedo. Among the wonderful winners in its several categories, the Cambridge Classics Professor Mary Beard (Much Wenlock, UK, 1955) received the prize on Social Sciences. In her speech, she underlined the need we have to establish a fruitful dialogue with history, and consequently, she said she was receiving the award not only on her name, but also on behalf of all “those teachers, scholars and writers who work hard to make our conversation with the Ancient world so live, so engaging and so rewarding”. Indeed, it was her capacity for making accessible her vast knowledge of the Ancient World to the general public one of the aspects that the Jury most appreciated in their awarding Prof. Beard the prize.

What Prof. Beard has done is something worth a great merit, because she has challenged academic conventions in order to fulfil a social task that the Humanities necessarily has to undertake. For many decades, academic circles have refused to enter into that necessary dialogue with society, arriving to such specialization of knowledge and attention to detail that render all efforts inane in terms of dialoguing with the past. To a certain extent, we don’t see the forest for the trees anymore. And that is tragic, because at the university we should have the social responsibility of taking care of transmitting, for present and future generations, everything we have been able to learn. Being a scholar of the Humanities without trying to reach the society in an ample sense is like being a doctor and treating only those patients that are going to be cured for sure. It doesn’t really make much sense.

As Prof. Beard explains in her latest book, SPQR, entire academic careers have been made and lost over tiny details that do not change the general picture of what we know and why is still relevant. It is imperative that we rethink what is the call and aim of the Humanities in the modern world in order to understand what is the task that we all as scholars have to undertake not before our colleagues or our institutions, or even before our students, but in a wider sense to the society in general. There isn’t much point, really, is preaching to the converted. Isolating ourselves in arcane departments, spending time and resources in endless navel-gazing exercises is not going to make our role in society more important, quite the contrary, and it is not going to bring students to our classes, because nobody is ready to devote the best years of their youth to study something they have not even heard about. The compromise of Prof. Beard and of many others who, due to their writing for the wider public are being accused sometimes of being “dilettantes” by their own colleagues, is indispensable to save the Humanities from being the instrument of self-centred ambitious scholars who refuse to share their impressive knowledge with the wider world. It is more than crucial that we descend from our own trees and start contemplating the forest.

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