The specific focus of the event "Enhancement, Emerging Technologies, and Social Challenges" are the social challenges which we have to face due to the rapid development of emerging technologies. In order to guarantee a systematic treatment of the topic we will particularly focus on th following five topics:

1. Enhancement as social challenge: As part of this topic, we will be concerned with the social challenges related to moral enhancement; genetic enhancement; neuroenhancement; cyborg enhancement.

2. Enhancing Evolution. As part of this topic both historical as well as systematic treatments are being dealt with. Hence, we will be concerned both with the historical debate between Aldous and Julian Huxley which lead to the publication of the influential books "Brave New World" and "New Bottles for New Wine". The relationship between Nietzsche, Transhumanism and the contemporary eugenics debates will also be covered as part of this course. However, contemporary systematic topics like the social challenges related to the Movie "Gattaca" or the John Harris monograph "Enhancing Evolution" will not be neglected, either.

3. Bioarts, Body Art and Performance Art. Questions such as the following will be tackled: Which social challenges are related to Kac's works of art? Does Orlan's Carnal Art raise significant questions concerning the challenges of plastic surgery? How does Nyman's opera "Facing Goya" address central questions concerning eugenics? Are his worries plausible?; Does Jaime del Val's performance convince of the need to move beyond a duality of sexes towards a plurality of sexes?

4. Human Dignity. Several questions need to be considered in this context. Is it possible to accept the theory of evolution and to also affirm the special status of human beings as categorically separate from other natural beings? Which characteristics are necessary for distinguishing the dignityof humans, metahumans, transhumans and posthumans? Do posthumanists, and transhumanists put forward plausible challenges concerning human dignity? Is the concept of the embodied mind compatible to that of human dignity? Will there be the need to introduce the concept of post-persons, whereby post-persons have a higher moral status as persons?

5. Enhancement and Health Insurance Companies. In this context the following questions will be addressed: Are vaccination a type of enhancement? What is a disease and what ought to be referred to as merely a special trait?; Is it possible to introduce regulations concerning health insurances such that the issue of global justice is being considered? Does a liberal state necessarily lead to structures which neglect social justice?

OTHER 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 (ccarbo04@nyit.edu).

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 JULY 1st. Acceptance notifications will be sent out by July 21st, 2012. 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 30 minutes.

FEES and REGISTRATION: A reduced registration fee of 50 (65USD) will apply to all participants.



Come join us
10-14 September 2012
in Dubrovnik, Croatia as we discuss these topics and more.


For Submissions
please contact:
Dr. Curtis D. Carbonell
Assistant Professor of English NYIT

For other inquires,
please contact:
Dr. Thomas Philbeck