[csaa-forum] Zoontotechnics (Animality/Technicity) conference CFP

Melissa Gregg mgregg at usyd.edu.au
Mon Jul 20 09:44:37 CST 2009

Apologies for cross posting


Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory Cardiff University

20th Anniversary Conference

Zoontotechnics (Animality/Technicity)

12th-14th May 2010

Plenary Speakers

Bernard Stiegler, Director of the Department of Cultural Development at the
Centre Georges-Pompidou and Director of the Institut de recherche et
d'innovation (IRI)
David Wills 
 (University at Albany-SUNY)
We are also inviting Avital Ronell (New York University) (participation to
be confirmed)

Since the founding of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory in 1989,
when the prevalent currents were postmodernism, poststructuralism and
postcolonialism, new developments have helped reshape the theoretical
landscape. Key among them have been cyberculture, the digital revolution in
technology, globalization, and the search for critical modes beyond the
human. More recently philosophical-ethical revaluations of the 'animal' and
renewed reflections on various aspects of technology and technics, both
within and beyond the emerging framework of posthumanism, have provided two
of the most stimulating developments in critical and cultural theory that
might offer new departures. While there have been numerous conferences and
symposia on each perspective, none has been organized with a view to
encouraging a critical dialogue between researchers in these two usually
separate fields. If Aristotle's definition of 'man' was that he is a zoon
logon ekhon (animal having speech) and a zoon politikon (political animal),
in what ways has he become a zoon tekhnikon? Is this ultimately necessary to
ensure the survival of the species or is it conducive to its transformation?
With an increasingly globalized 'humanity' installed in the post-9/11 age of
a technology-led terrorism and the credit crunch, the conference will
consider these overarching questions, as well as others outlined briefly
below. In planning our 20th anniversary, we decided to address the future,
rather than look back nostalgically on past achievements. This seems a more
invigorating way of convening a truly celebratory event. With this focus on
futurity in mind, we plan to include a round-table work on the Futures of
Technology and Culture that will feature the activities interfacing new
technologies and culture that are part of the remit of Beaubourg's Institute
for Research and Innovation led by Professor Stiegler. Other conference
events will feature performance art at the crossroads of the animal and the
technical. We very much hope that the conference will prove to be an
intellectual landmark. 

Possible themes for individual papers or panels might include:
€ The relation of animality and/or technicity to posthumanism
€ The critical interface between posthumanism and transhumanism, 'life
sciences', biotechnology and bioethics, artificiality and hybridization
€ Futures of life, animality and technicity and of 'humanity'
€ Man's relation to technics and technology after Heidegger's 'The Question
Concerning Technology'
€ Man's relation to animality after Derrida's The Animal That Therefore I Am
€ Extensions of technology to redefining art and humanities, not just
extending man (cf. Technology, Environment, Design)
€ Work addressing concepts such as the prosthetic, the inhuman, the digital,
the virtual, etc. 
€ Animality, technicity and gender

We are particularly interested in proposals for papers and panels that
engage with the interface between the two main strands of the conference
theme. Papers are also invited on thinkers who have addressed both aspects,
(e.g. the becoming-animal and the machinic in Deleuze). Abstracts for papers
(no more than 300 words) and proposals for panels should be sent to
zoonto at cardiff.ac.uk by 31st December 2009.

Professor Chris Weedon, Chair of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory

Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory School of English, Communication and
Philosophy, Humanities Building, Colum Dri ve, Cardiff CF10 3EU

tel - +44 (029) 2087 5606 fax- +44 (029) 2087 4502

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