CFP: Cyborg Classics: An Interdisciplinary Symposium

April 25th, 2017 by Gabriel Bodard

Forwarded on behalf of Silvie Kilgallon (to whom enqueries should be addressed):

We are pleased to announce a one-day symposium, sponsored by BIRTHA (The Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts) to be held at the University of Bristol, on Friday July 7th 2017.

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr Kate Devlin (Goldsmiths)
  • Dr Genevieve Liveley (Bristol)
  • Dr Rae Muhlstock (NYU)

The aim of the day is to bring together researchers from different disciplines – scholars in Archaeology & Anthropology, Classics, English, History, and Theology as well as in AI, Robotics, Ethics, and Medicine – to share their work on automata, robots, and cyborgs. Ultimately, the aim is an edited volume and the development of further collaborative research projects.

Indicative key provocations include:

  • To what extent do myths and narratives about automata, robots, and cyborgs raise questions that are relevant to contemporary debates concerning robot, cyborg, and AI product innovation?
  • To what extent, and how, can contemporary debate concerning robot, cyborg, and AI product innovation rescript ancient myths and narratives about automata, robots, and cyborgs.
  • Can interdisciplinary dialogues between the ‘soft’ humanities and the ‘hard’ sciences of robotics and AI be developed? And to what benefit?
  • How might figures such as Pandora, Pygmalion’s statue, and Talos help inform current polarized debates concerning robot, cyborg, and AI ethics?
  • What are the predominant narrative scripts and frames that shape the public understanding of robotics and AI? How could these be re-coded?

We invite scholars working across the range of Classics and Ancient History (including Classical Reception) and across the Humanities more widely to submit expressions of interest and/or a title and abstract (of no more than 250 words) to the symposium coordinator, Silvie Kilgallon (silvie.kilgallon@bristol.ac.uk). PhD students are warmly encouraged to contribute. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is May 31st, 2017.

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