[artinfo] Cyborgs and Cultural Systems

Veszely Be ta veszelyb at axelero.hu
Thu Jan 22 10:17:16 CET 2004

CALL FOR PAPERS: Cyborgs and Cultural Systems

INSCRIPTIONS '04: an arts and culture conference and festival
at Eastern Mediterranean University
in Famagusta, on the island of Cyprus
June 3rd- 4th, 2004

            The term "cyborg" (cybernetic organism) was originally coined by
Clynes and Kline in 1960 to characterize a self-regulating complex entity
made up of interacting electrical/mechanical and human systems-as distinct
from "robot," which was derived by Capek in 1923 from a Czech word meaning
"drudgery," and which still today describes a non-sentient machine
performing tasks set and ultimately controlled by a human being.
           However, since the publication of Donna J. Haraway's "Manifesto
for Cyborgs" in 1985, the cyborg has evolved-in disciplines as diverse as
literature, film, sociology, cybernetics, and medicine-into a figure and a
trope of hybridity. As such, it interrogates and/or collapses the
differences between the sentient and the non-sentient, the human and the
non-human; it engages and undoes a wide range of binary oppositions from
Cartesian dualism to culturally coded distinctions of gender, class, and
race; and it exemplifies the breaching of boundaries and frontiers in
social, ethical, legal and technological issues from disability to genetic
engineering to computer privacy.
            We invite proposals for a Panel Discussion aimed at extending
current concepts of the cyborg, and exploring the ramifications of the
interaction between human beings and their socio-cultural, technological,
and biological environments.

Some possible topic areas (others are welcome):

-the extensions of man and woman: from Marshall McLuhan to Donna Haraway
-the cyborg and the "posthuman": the work of N. Katherine Hayles and Bruno
-bodies without organs (Artaud)/desiring machines (Deleuze and Guattari)
-cyborgs and social systems: Niklas Luhmann on media and "ecological
-between biological and cultural systems: Humberto Maturana and Francisco Va
-rethinking Enlightenment rationality: between La Mettrie, deism, and the
-avatars and cybersex: desire, fragmentation and jouissance in cyberspace
-the hyperreal and the decay of lying: from Oscar Wilde to The Truman Show
-Lacanian cyberspace: the Imaginary and the Symbolic
-technomyths of fear and limitation: Icarus, Prometheus, and Pandora
-science/creation myths: Michelangelo's Creation of Adam to Mary Shelley's
-reconfiguring the grotesque: monsters/hybrids from satyrs, centaurs and
mermaids to cyborgs, androids, replicants,
     clones, and zombies
-cyborgs and hyperreality: Benjamin's aura, Debord's spectacle, Baudrillard'
s simulacrum
-deconstructing grand narratives: ecofeminism and narratives of empowerment
-monstrosity in film: from The Island of Dr. Moreau to Jurassic Park and
Monsters, Inc.
-technophilosophical utopias/dystopias: Zamyatin's We, Orwell's 1984, and
their progeny
-cyborg fiction: Asimov, Clarke, Gibson, Ballard, Dick, Coupland, etc.
-prosthetics in literature/film from Edward Scissorhands to Luke Skywalker
-cyber-environments, interactive/virtual realities: Tron, eXistenZ, Johnny
-prosthetics in reality from Gotz von Berlichingen to Stephen Hawking
-magical technologies: from Perrault's seven-league boots to Oz and the Tin
Woodman's heart
-war, amputation, disability: the ethics of medical transplant/implant
-the avatars of Arnold Schwarzenegger: Total Recall, Terminator, RoboCop,
The Sixth Day
-the ethics of reproductive technology: genetic selection, cloning, and
-theorizing new technologies: Kevin Warwick, the VeriChip, "smart" clothing
-chemical enhancement: from cosmetics and steroids to genetically modified
-cyborgs and superheroes: Spiderman, the Hulk, the X-Men, etc.
-Foucault's "political technology of the body": panopticism and cyborg
-city machines: Metropolis, Logan's Run, The Matrix, Vanilla Sky
-language-instinct machines: the work of Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker, and
Marvin Minsky
-monstrosity and decadence: Des Esseintes, and Bouvard and Pecuchet
-art and technology: from Futurism and Constructivism to Borofsky and

        Prospective panelists are invited to send 250-word
abstracts/proposals for 15-20 minute presentations on any aspect of these
areas to
robert.dalonzo at emu.edu.tr
rodney.sharkey at emu.edu.tr
by 31st January, 2004.
. We look forward to learning about your research, and to a provocative

For more information about INSCRIPTIONS '04,
please visit our website at http://www.emu.edu.tr/elh/index_conference.html
Please also check out our links to "Individual Research Presentations" and
"Creative/Performance Work."

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