Transforming Human Nature in Science, Technology, and the Arts (Oct 2011, Bahrain)

The New York Institute of Technology, in conjunction with the University of Exeter, University Erlangen-Nürnberg and Dublin City University, is pleased to announce the 1st Global Conference on Transforming Human Nature in Science, Technology, and the Arts. The conference will be held at the New York Institute of Technology’s Global Programs Campus in Manama, Bahrain from October 21st – 23rd, 2011. We invite papers and panel proposals. See

Deadline for abstract submission: 1 March 2011.

Confirmed Speakers:

Keynote Address: Julian Savulescu (Oxford University)

Michael Hauskeller (University of Exeter)
Dónal O’Mathúna (Dublin City University)
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)

From biomedical enhancement to the movements of transhumanism and posthumanism, the transformation of how society regards the category of ‘the human’ is becoming ever more visible. The impact of this transformation is evident in the sciences and the humanities, globalization, the medical professions, political discourse, popular culture, and the role of technology in our personal and public lives.
Where can and will this transformation of ‘the human’ lead? From simple enhancements to the posthuman, what concerns should be the focus of these arenas?

The aim of this multidisciplinary conference is to bring together voices and perspectives from a variety of academic disciplines as well as fields of public practice and application concerning the development and transformation of our understanding of ‘the human.’ We invite papers from across the disciplines that will shed light on the state of affairs, especially the consequences of enhancement and transhumanist and posthumanist accounts of ‘the human.’

Papers will be selected and arranged according to related topics Equal voice will be given, if possible, for presentations from the arts, humanities, sciences, and technological fields.

POSSIBLE TOPICS could include, but are not limited to:

  • Bioethics, bioconservatism, bioliberalism, enhancement
  • Posthumanist anthropology, aesthetics, ecology, feminism, critical theory
  • Representation of human performance in technology and the arts
  • Transhumanism and/or posthumanism in science fiction, fantasy, dystopian/utopian literature
  • Enhancement and political discourse, regulation, and human rights
  • Humanism, transhumanism, and posthumanism in philosophy
  • Poststructuralism, postmodernism, and posthumanism
  • Transhuman and posthuman impact on ethics and/or value formation
  • Phenomenology and postphenomenology
  • Embodiment relations and identity
  • Globalization and the spread of biomedicine and transhumanism
  • Economic implications of transhumanist projects
  • Popular culture and posthumanist representations
  • Theology, enhancement, and the place of the posthuman
  • Technology, robotics, and ethics
  • Cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality
  • Cyborgs and democracy
  • Humanity, human nature, biotechnology


We invite abstracts of up to 500 words, to be sent in MS Word format to Professor Curtis Carbonell ( Files should be named and submitted in the following manner:

Submission: First Name Last name. docx (or .doc)
Example: “Submission: Curtis Carbonell.docx”

Abstracts should be received by March 1st, 2011. Acceptance notifications will be sent out by April 15th, 2011. All those accepted will receive information on the venue(s), local attractions, accommodations, restaurants, and planned receptions and events for participants. Presentations should not be more than 25 minutes.

Presentation papers of the highest quality will be considered for post-conference volume publication.

A reduced registration fee of €50 (65USD) will apply to all participants.

This conference is the first of its kind in the region. Bahrain has a population of one million inhabitants and has grown from a small collection of fishing villages and towns into the international financial hub of the Middle East along with the most liberal government among the Gulf States. It is also one of the first
countries in the Gulf, like Qatar, to successfully incorporate western higher education models.  Bahrain is a paradigm of how the technological systems of the 20th century have transformed how a society functions and grows from the individual to the national level.

For further information:

Please see our conference website ( ) and, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Professor Thomas Philbeck at


About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

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