CFP: Cyborgs Old and New (11/30/05; ACLA, 3/23/06-3/26/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Megan McKinstry
contact email: 

>From: Stefani Engelstein <engelsteins_at_MISSOURI.EDU>
>Subject: CFP: Cyborgs Old and New (11/30/05; ACLA 3/23/06 -3/26/06)
>Call for papers for a panel at the American Comparative Literature
>Association Annual Convention.
>March 23-26, 2006 at Princeton University.
>Cyborgs Old and New
>Panel organizers: Stefani Engelstein ( and
>Carsten Strathausen (
>This panel will consider the concept of the cyborg not merely as the
>actual augmentation of the body with machinery, but rather as an
>acknowledgement that the organic is inherently mechanical. Today it
>is impossible to separate technology from biology, as new
>interventions in the body take the form of cloning and chimerical
>hybrids of human and animal genetic material. This development
>seems to signal a new victory over our natural limitations as we
>strive to become what Freud called a "prosthetic god," following the
>path toward a technological utopia already manifest in Robert
>Hooke's seventeenth century paean to the microscope. Every
>technology, however, functions through a tacit acceptance of our
>integration into nature, blending the human, the mechanical, and the
>animal. This constellation is not original to the present, but
>recurs at times that coincide with a crisis in our definition of the
>human. It is no accident that La Mettrie theorized the human as a
>machine at the same moment that Linnaeus created a classification
>system that made humans full members of the primate order in the
>animal kingdom.
>We seek original papers that examine the current crisis of what it
>means to be human without losing sight of the past. Is the "cyborg"
>still a useful term or has it become so ubiquitous today as to have
>lost its "proper" (i.e. hybrid) meaning? Are terms like the
>"post-human" (K. Hayles) or the "symbiont" (G. Longo) any better?
>Please submit 250-word abstracts online before November 30, 2005 at
>the following link:
>The conference is organized primarily into seminars (or "streams"),
>which consist either of twelve papers, if they meet on all three
>days of the conference, or eight to nine papers, if they meet on two
>days. Papers should be 15-20 minutes long-no longer-to allow time
>for discussion.
>For more information on the ACLA or the conference go to:
>Stefani Engelstein
>Assistant Professor of German
>Department of German and Russian Studies
>University of Missouri
>454 GCB
>Columbia, MO 65211
>Telephone: (573) 882-9450
>Fax: (573) 884-8456

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Received on Thu Nov 03 2005 - 12:47:04 EST