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Studium Generale

The tenth lecture series Studium Generale - Leerstoel Kinsbergen organised by AP University College

An initiative of Artesis Plantijn University College Antwerp in collaboration with deSingel and Opera Ballet Flanders

About this year's theme


What principles do we hold to be self-evident? How would dignity be a human right? Whom do we best emulate in the sphere of the arts or in the domain of the judiciary? Does the concept of dignity stand firm in today’s media? And what has been dignity’s development in the world of care?

Ten guest lecturers elucidate the concept of dignity, for themselves and their environment. Do they take the moral highway? How do they keep a clear eye, a pure soul, a straight back in dignity?
Does promoting veracity equal silence? Must the truth be sacrificed in order to advocate dignity? Standing up for the rights of the meek, while ranking the environment at second place? Advancing society by enhancing technology, ending up with a robot for arbiter?

If the previous editions of Boundaries, Passion, Conflict, Trust and Lust challenged your curiosity, this season’s Dignity will do so, no less.

About Studium Generale  -  chair Kinsbergen

This lecture series offers an opportunity to hear (international) lecturers in action. Annually, the theme of the series is chosen in such a way that reference can be made to every field of study. This year’s theme Lust will be highlighted from various angles. The lecturers reflect on their personal experience with the theme.
The lectures are given in English or Dutch. After each lecture, there is a short debate with the audience.

Do you want to receive information concerning the upcoming editions? Contact to leave us your contact details.

Photo: Ine Vanoeveren


The lectures wille be held in Dutch or English.

Tuesday October 8, 2019 

Mieke De Ketelaere, director Artificial Intelligence IMEC

Artificial intelligence: real potential or hype? (ENG)

Not a day goes by without thrilling or terrifying media stories about the consequences of our Artificial Intelligence progress. There is good reason to be energized by the potential, but we’re being overwhelmed by hype. As an engineer, I’m an enthusiastic realist when it comes this technology. What motivates me is not the technology, but what it can do to help us to solve problems, in this case complex problems. But let’s also be pragmatic: Is AI really going to solve all our problems? Who is defining the answers on important questions such as accountability, fairness, responsibility and transparence when it comes to automated decisions? During the session, I will give you an accessible non-technical introduction to buzzwords such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning etc. We will have a look at some current practical implications of AI on people's lives and livelihoods. And finally, we will discuss the potential of Intelligence Amplification, a world where information technology will augment human intelligence.

Tuesday October 22, 2019

Latifa Chebaa, MOPA (Muslims and Palliative Care)

Einde leven en sterven in waardigheid binnen de Islam (NL)

Tuesday November 5, 2019

Imade Annouri, GROEN

Waardigheid als baken in tijden van polarisatie (NL)

Tuesday November 19, 2019

Kati Verstrepen, human rights lawyer 

Het recht op een ‘mens’waardig leven. (NL)

Is het recht op een waardig leven een universeel recht? Zo ja, wat houdt dat in, een ‘waardig’ leven? Wie bepaalt wat een waardig leven is en wat met de vele mensen die geen waardig leven leiden?

Tuesday December 10, 2019

Mathieu Charles, Minderhedenforum

Less than human: politics of dignity, Enlightment and colonial strategies (ENG)

What is dignity? A look at dignity as a tool for dehumanization and othering of different groups in relation to their economic, political, geographical, religious and etno-racial status. While there is no universal concept of human dignity, Western cultures propagate a universal human dignity taken from the Enlightment values. It’s often being used as a prerequisite for integration and assimilation politics in Western societies and as measuring stick for the level of civilized (or barbaric) countries and peoples. The presentation will attempt to analyze and deconstruct the illusion of the Western concept of dignity.

Tuesday February 11, 2020

Dalilla Hermans, journalist and author

Please note that our session with Dalilla Hermans (February 4) will be rescheduled for February 11th.  

Tuesday March 10, 2020

Baldwin Van Gorp, Professor of Journalism

The many faces of the journalist: from the detached watchdog to the critical change agent (ENG)

The distant, neutral journalist who always takes objectivity very seriously is often seen as the ideal role of the journalist. A first question that will be answered in this talk is whether it is possible to maintain this role in all circumstances. To what extent is objectivity in journalism feasible? An alternative role worth considering is that of the critical change agent. This type of journalist does not observe reality from the sidelines, but acts as if he or she is part of that reality and helps to shape it. The critical change agent adopts a basic critical attitude and aims for social change. But this role also has its limitations, as will be demonstrated in this talk, in which the discussion with the audience will take place on the basis of many concrete examples.

Tuesday March 17, 2020

Jeroen Olyslaegers, author and theatre maker 

Tussen Medusa en de Minotaurus (NL)

"Wat betekent waardigheid in deze tijd? Misschien betekent dit staren in de ogen van de Medusa en vervolgens haar hoofd niet af te hakken, maar haar te begrijpen. Het zou ook kunnen betekenen dat niet Theseus, maar Ariadne het labyrint intrekt om daar de Minotaurus door een rouwproces te helpen in plaats van hem te doden. Waardigheid zou men in deze tijd kunnen verbeelden als een wezen dat mediteert met de ogen wijd open terwijl de dijken breken. Waardigheid betekent nu de realiteit erkennen, de ecologische eindtijd voor de mensheid aanvaarden, diep in te ademen en vervolgens met iets nieuws te beginnen.

Please note that our session with Jeroen Olyslaergers (March 17) will be cancelled due to renewed corona guidelines.  

Tuesday March 31, 2020

Jan Blommaert, sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist

Language and dignity (ENG)

Please note that our session with Jan Blommaert (March 31) will be cancelled due to renewed corona guidelines.  

Tuesday April 28, 2020

Jan Vandenhouwe, artistic opera director of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

Waardigheid en idealisme in opera vandaag (NL)

Het seizoen 2019-2020 van Opera Ballet Vlaanderen staat in het teken van het thema idealisme. In Verdi's 'Don Carlos' komt een jonge generatie op voor vrijheid en menselijke waardigheid. Aan het eind van 'Macbeth' laat Verdi een onderdrukt volk in opstand komen tegen tyrannie. Net als Verdi was ook Mozart een groot humanist, bij wie de idealen van de Verlichting nooit ver weg zijn. Tegenover naïeve illusies en vastgeroeste clichés plaatst hij in 'Cosi fan tutte' een bevrijdend inzicht in de menselijke natuur. Tal van kunstenaars gaan aan de slag met werken waaruit een geëngageerd idealisme spreekt. In deze lezing onderzoekt Jan Vandenhouwe, artistiek directeur opera van Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, niet alleen hoe de menselijke waardigheid centraal staat in tal van opera's, maar ook welke rol dat thema vandaag kan gaan spelen in de dagdagelijkse organisatie van een groot cultuurhuis. 

Please note that our session with Jan Vandenhouwe (April 28) will be cancelled due to renewed corona guidelines.  

Practical information

No entrance fee. Registration is compulsory.

Royal Conservatoire Antwerp
Campus deSingel
25 Desguinlei
2018 Antwerp

All lectures will be held in the Yellow Hall from 7 till 9 pm. 


  • Please note that our session with Mieke De Ketelaere (October 8th) will be held exceptionally in the White Hall. 
  • Please note that our session with Kati Verstrepen (November 19th) will also be held in the White Hall.
  • Please note that our session with Dalilla Hermans (February 4) will be rescheduled for February 11th.  
  • Please note that our session with Jeroen Olyslaeghers (March 17) will be cancelled due to strengthened corona guidelines.
  • Please note that our session with Jan Blommaert (March 31) will be cancelled due to strengthened corona guidelines.
  • Please note that our session with Jan Vandenhouwe (April 28) will be cancelled due to strengthened corona guidelines.


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