Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CFP Future Humans (9/30/155; NeMLA 2016)

Future Humans
Announcement published by Louisa MacKay Demerjian on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Call for Papers
September 30, 2015
Connecticut, United States
Subject Fields:
Social Sciences

How do we understand ourselves as human beings?  Historically, we have considered where we are in time and place and in relation to others.  Throughout history, humans have wondered about their origins and about their futures.  Charles Darwin gave some a foundation of understanding where human beings came from and how we evolved.  The greater question now is how we will change; will human beings continue to evolve and adapt in response to the changes in the natural world?  Or will the changes be more deliberate?  In what ways will human beings be responsible for the ways we change in the future?  This panel invites an examination of literature, film, and other media and how they represent future humans.  Considering the speed with which technology advances, how might we be plunging headlong into a future we might have only imagined?  Will future humans evolve naturally or will we change deliberately being combined with technology and becoming “cyborgs”?  Will the nature that shapes our evolution be the one we created through climate change?  Will our present world be changed in order to shape a future we are more comfortable anticipating?  In short, human beings have consistently been preoccupied with the future; considering some of the visions of the future presented in novels and movies, what has gone by the wayside and what has shown prescience?  How might we use these predictions of the future as bellwether so we might change course and shape a future that’s more to our liking?

Human beings have traditionally been preoccupied with visions of the future. We may now have more power to shape the future of human beings for better or worse, intentionally or unintentionally. Technology advances so quickly, it leaves little time to consider the long-term. How might novels and films present futures and allow us to accept or reject their projections? This panel invites discussion of individual representative works and/or multiple works for comparison.

This panel will take place between March 17 and 20, 2016 in Hartford, CT.

Abstracts are due by Sept. 30, 2015.  To submit an abstract, please go to: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15601

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