2. Cyborgs/Hybrids – moving beyond dualisms

Keywords: Cyborg hybridization, ontologies, assemblagebiotechnologyagency

The cyborg, as a cybernetic organism, might be understood as a creature/thing/being/system/device that mimics the structures of organic life, is connected to organic life through mechanisms of feedback, or in other ways exists in a hybrid stage connecting the technological and the biological.

And further it might be understood more broadly as a both political real and mythical, discursive subject, making it possible to understand and question the fusion with the machine in broader terms. The cyborg and the hybrid, both as beings and as temporary assemblages, crosses the very boundaries that we often draw when trying to define what is biology and what is technology; what is body and what is machine.

The historical and theoretical background for the cyborg can be connected to space travel, sci-fi. It also taps into approaches including, but not limited to, post-humanism, post-phenomenology, and feminist, queer and disability studies. Cyborgs have been made to represent fantasies of immortality and superiority as well as anxieties deeply rooted in the modern terrors of technological power and the Frankenstein monsters, Replicants or Terminators of our time.

Today, cyborgs and hybrids are found within medicine, the military, in sports, in the arts, in body modification, in popular culture, in space, and in cognitive science. We invite proposals for papers, workshops, panels, fictions, interventions, and other formats within the limits of the conference structure and location. Possible questions to be addressed:

  • What can be meant by a cyborg/hybrid?
  • What is the relationship between human and technological agency in the cyborg?
  • How does the cyborg intersect with questions of gender, race and disability?
  • How can we think about being a cyborg/hybrid versus performing a cyborg/hybrid?
  • How can we work with notions of cyborg-practice, cyborg-experience, cyborg relations or a field of cyborg-perceptions when dealing with human-machine interaction or the production and experience of art?
  • How might we think in notions of the cyborg in dealing with technology in our everyday lives and practices, including social status and legal rights of the cyborg/hybrid?
  • Might we consider the increasing use of algorithms and other kinds of bots on the web and social media profiles/content in a context of cyborgs/hybrids?
  • How can we work beyond dystopian and/or utopian notions tied to the cyborg/hybrid when enquiring about our future in an era of emergent biotechnological possibilities and fractured subjectivities?

Sub-theme hosted by Cathrine Hedager Ostenfeld Kamper, Camilla Jaller, and Gunhild Borggreen

Submit a proposal of a maximum 500 words.

Submit abstract to EasyChair here