Technology Embodied – Body Modification, Synthetics, and the Posthuman in SF Literature
The Museum of Science Fiction is accepting 250-word proposals for 15-20 minute papers to be presented at this year’s Escape Velocity Conference in National Harbor Maryland, May 24th – 26th, 2019.
As technological development continues to advance at an unprecedented rate, humanity finds itself more and more integrated with, and oftentimes dependent on, technological amplifications, interventions, and solutions. As such technology becomes commonplace, blurring the boundaries between organic and synthetic life, we might ask ourselves, will we someday reach a point where being “human” ceases to mean anything?
Whether our concerns are moral, aesthetic, medical, monetary, eugenic, or something else altogether, this futurist impulse to create, to invent, to evolve to the next level of being, is a hallmark of Western Society. Accordingly, despite (or perhaps because of) our human moral concerns and questions, the study of science and speculative fictions serves as the perfect terrain for examining questions about the posthuman and the transhuman. Perhaps our ethical obstacles are precisely what makes the creation and dissemination of science fiction critical to our continuing “progress.” The subject of technological embodiment opens a realm of possibility where we can investigate the necessity of safeties, articulate and explore our concerns about the future, and weigh for ourselves the risks and rewards of an increasingly cyborg human experience. What makes a human and what makes a person? Are we already posthuman? Does the presence of a soul enter into our ethics about body modification? What should we worry about and be excited for? Such questions are the object of inquiry for this technological embodiment presentation panel.
This year’s Escape Velocity Conference is seeking submissions that address the representation of body modification technology, including, but not limited to, the studies of cybernetics, synthetics, and posthumanism, in science and speculative fiction literatures. We welcome submissions that reflect on any aspect of biotechnics, such as prosthesis, the “superhuman,” the “otherhuman,” the ethics of cloning, and the relationship between body modification and surveillance or control, as well as the figure of the android and its relationship with organic bodies.
Conference: May 24th – 26th, 2019
Deadline for proposals: April 1st, 2019
*All submissions will be considered for inclusion in the planned Escape Velocity conference anthology unless otherwise requested*