Thursday, November 5, 2009

IEET's Biopolitics of Popular Culture Seminar

The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies is holding a seminar on the Biopolitics of Popular Culture at Eon Reality in Irvine California on December 4, 2009. This seminar will precede the Humanity+ Summit, December 5-6 at the same venue.

The IEET has put together an impressive groups of speakers, a list that includes io9's Annalee Newitz, Jamais Cascio, film maker Matthew Patrick, Natasha Vita-More and science fiction writer Richard Kadrey.

From the IEET website:

Popular culture is full of tropes and cliches that shape our debates about emerging technologies. Our most transcendent expectations for technology come from pop culture, and the most common objections to emerging technologies come from science fiction and horror, from Frankenstein and Brave New World to Gattaca and the Terminator.

Why is it that almost every person in fiction who wants to live a longer than normal life is evil or pays some terrible price? What does it say about attitudes towards posthuman possibilities when mutants in Heroes or the X-Men, or cyborgs in Battlestar Galactica or Iron Man, or vampires in True Blood or Twilight are depicted as capable of responsible citizenship?

Is Hollywood reflecting a transhuman turn in popular culture, helping us imagine a day when magical and muggle can live together in a peaceful Star Trek federation? Will the merging of pop culture, social networking and virtual reality into a heightened augmented reality encourage us all to make our lives a form of participative fiction?

During this day long seminar we will engage with culture critics, artists, writers, and filmmakers to explore the biopolitics that are implicit in depictions of emerging technology in literature, film and television.
Other speakers include:
  • PJ Manney
  • Alex Lightman
  • Kristi Scott
  • J. Hughes
  • Mike Treder
  • Michael LaTorra
  • Jess Nevins
  • RJ Eskow
  • Brian Cross
  • Edward Miller
  • Michael Massuci
  • Jeannie Novak
Learn more and register today.

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