Angels, Animals and Cyborgs: Visions of Human Enhancement

connecting_01An illustrated lecture by Salvador Olguin
Date: Friday, August 20
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

Posthumanism is currently a hot term in certain scientific and academic circles. Deplored by many as yet another fashionable post, defended by its supporters as a term that reflects our current fears, hopes and changing reality, posthumanism is an attempt to think seriously about the effects that technology and its rapid pace has in our society, our bodies and our minds, and to consider that these effects might change the human species as we know it.

Throughout history, the desire to transcend the limitations of our condition as biological beings has been constantly present. From theological discussions regarding the nature of the human body after the resurrection of the flesh, to the projections of today’s futurists, and including figures such as the Golem, Frankenstein’s monster, angels and cyborgs, our culture has imagined bodies with wider possibilities than ours. Myth, science, art and literature have treated the topic of body enhancement, considering its pros, its cons and its limitations. In a time when pacemakers, prostheses, cloning and cryogenics are making these old dreams of human enhancement a reality, it can be fruitful to look back and compare the wildest fantasies of posthumanism with its intellectual predecessors, to get a better picture of what is going on.

This lecture will touch on some key examples of visions of human enhancement, in order to put the hopes and dreams of posthumanism in perspective, and try to sketch a genealogy of this set of ideas.

Salvador Olguin was born in Monterrey, Mexico. He holds a Master’s degree in Humanities by the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, and he worked as an Assistant Professor and Course Coordinator for three years in that same institution. He is a writer and playwright, and has published poems and essays in magazines –such as Tierra Adentro, Parteaguas, Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea and the journal Anamesa, among others– both in Mexico and the United States. His research interests orbit around the conjunction of death, the body, technology and representation. He quit his former job and life in order to come to New York, where he is currently a second year student in the Draper Masters Program in Humanities and Social Thought.

Comments are closed.