Being/Human or Being Non/Human

This is to announce that the new Being Non/Human discussion group will have its first meeting during the Arts and Humanities Festival, on Monday, October 14th at 6:30pm – 8pm at King’s College London, Strand campus, room S2.39.

Being Non/Human is an interdisciplinary discussion group that meets one Monday evening a month. The meetings either focus on the presentation and discussion of papers or combine papers with the discussion of reading material.

The Being Non/Human group focuses on recent theoretical developments which question the role of the human, analyse what it means to be a nonhuman entity, examine the validity of terms such as ‘human’ and ‘nonhuman’, and look at the (shifting) boundaries between the human and nonhuman. This year’s papers concern, amongst other things: cyborgs and golems; physical and figurative metamorphoses; composite and alien creatures; Giorgio Agamben’s ‘anthropological machine’ and Vivian Sobchack’s work on phenomenology; and questions of how medicine, technology or performance art may affect the relationship between the human and the nonhuman.

As our group is concerned with many of the issues related to this year’s festival theme of ‘Being/Human’ we would like to invite all of those interested in humans and nonhumans alike to join us for our first meeting. This meeting will feature two papers, one concerning cyborgs and the other focusing on gaming avatars:

Dr Gerard Briscoe (Queen Mary University of London) – ‘Being Posthuman: Who Controls the Cyborg’
Jon Garrad – ‘ “Who’d choose to be a human? I do that in real life…” – Race, Species and Identity in the MMORPG’

For more details on the papers, our 2013-2014 schedule, and further details concerning the group, see: http://beingnonhuman.wordpress.com/.

Feel free to come along to the meeting (no booking required; just meet us at room S2.39) or join us for one or more of our future meetings. And, as with any discussion group, there will be snacks and drinks to keep us going!

Members of the Being Non/Human group will also be attending several of the events during this year’s festival (such as the ‘Medieval Science Fiction’ event and ‘The Limits of the Human: Vampires, Zombies, Serial Killers…’ event), so keep an eye out for our reviews here – or join our group and write a review yourself!Being Non/Human organisers –
Sophia Wilson (King’s College London)
Lydia Zeldenrust (Queen Mary University of London)

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