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Aesthetics, Ethics and Biopolitics of the Posthuman

Keynote abstracts

Lori B. Andrews: "Creating a Chimera of Art and Policy"

Science is profoundly changing what it means to be human.  By engaging with life science art, we can begin to understand the social challenges and biopolitical issues raised by posthumanism – by the application of technology to the human race to “remake” man, not in God’s image but as a chimera between human and animal or human and machine.

About the conference

The research project “Posthuman Aesthetics” invites proposals for its first conference “Aesthetics, Ethics and Biopolitics of the Posthuman”, 10 – 11 December 2015, at Aarhus University, Denmark.

The idea of the posthuman has emerged as a term that describes various ideas (and realities) of possible radical changes in human existence. Technological advances have made nature increasingly malleable, and the boundaries between humans, animals and machines are challenged and destabilised in various ways. New technologies have enabled us to provide therapy and life improvement for individuals, but the same technologies could also result in a demand for enhancements of people not otherwise in need of treatment. As a consequence of these technological developments, a number of philosophical, ethical and biopolitical questions arise.

The conference wishes to address aesthetic, ethical and biopolitical aspects of the posthuman condition. The use of new technologies are often discussed at the inter-section of philosophy and medicine, but this ignores how large a role aesthetics play in human existence and how it guides desires and choices ranging from bodily changes to visions of life narratives. The conference welcomes proposals that reflect upon such issues from various disciplines.

The conference furthermore invites contributions that address the ways in which art and literature thematise philosophical, ethical and biopolitical implications of the development in the life sciences, for instance in science fiction literature and in art-science collaborations.

A non-exhaustive series of topics include:

  • Art-science collaborations
  • Notions of subjectivity and identity
  • Biopolitics in relation to biotechnology
  • The idea and uses of the concepts of the normal, the perfect, and the improved
  • The imperfect in art and literature
  • The ways in which art and literature investigate the implications of the technological development
  • The aesthetic sensibility of intelligent machines
  • The importance of the face: face transplants and robotic faces

See more about the Posthuman Aesthetics project, its research group, project outline and individual projects at http://posthuman.au.dk/  

Keynote Speakers

  • Lori B. Andrews, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Institute for Science, Law and Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Peter Boxall, Professor of English, Centre for Creative and Critical Thought, University of Sussex

  • Paul Vanouse, Professor of Art, Co-Director of Emerging Practices MFA, and Director of Graduate Studies, University of Buffalo


Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)
Buildings 1630-1632
Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B
DK-8000, Aarhus Denmark

Call for Papers


December 10 – 11, 2015


Deadline for abstract submission: Closed

Deadline for registration: Closed


Admission fee: 75€ (faculty), 30€ (PhD/Postdoc)

The admission fee covers the entire conference and light refreshments during breaks. The conference dinner is free for speakers and 20€ for audience


Please direct practical questions and other inquiries to conference assistant,

Jakob Gaardbo Nielsen: jgn@dac.au.dk