Theorizing Robots, panel at the ACCUTE Conference, Waterloo, Ontario, 05/28/12- 05/31/12)
This panel, for the 2012 conference of the Association for Canadian College and University Teachers of English, proposes to examine the figure of the robot. While the cyborg has been a staple in cultural theory since Donna Haraway’s analysis in 1985, and while artificial intelligence is gaining increased attention, the related figure of the robot has not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny. However, since the term was coined to describe Karel Čapek’s (decidedly organic) figures in the 1920 play, R.U.R., and dating back to earlier formations in the automaton and other devices, the robot has been a central figure in discussions of labour, gender, technology, and many other pressing topics. This panel seeks papers that discuss the cultural representation of the robot, from fictional depictions (from any period) to the representation of actual robots (in factories, health care, computer sciences, etc). Topics could include but are not limited to:
- The robot and labour;
- Robot psychology;
- Robot ethics (including or going beyond Asimov’s laws);
- The robot as gothic monster;
- The robot and identity (including gender, race, and sexuality, among other categories);
- and others.
Please send the following (according to ACCUTE submissions guidelines) to Jason.Haslam@dal.ca by November 1, 2011.:
1. a 500-700-word proposal
2. the completed Proposal Submissions Information Sheet http://www.accute.ca/Files/proposalinfosheet.doc.
3. a 100-word abstract of your proposed presentation and a 50-word bio-bibliographical note on yourself.
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