C06Posthuman Dedifferentiation?

In this project, we address the question of how technological enhancements of the human body affect the interpretation of the body as well as anthropological self-perception.

A person using prosthetic legs.

The Technological Enhancement of Human Bodies

Our project is interested in wearables, exoskeletons, prostheses, and implants, but also transhumanist visions of a merging of humans and machines.

On the one hand, we are interested in how human differentiations are reconfigured – for example, when age is reinterpreted as a treatable disease or performance norms are shifted. On the other hand, we analyse how the boundaries between human and nonhuman are altered by technological body modifications. How do interpretations of humans, machines, animals, and superhumans change with human enhancements?

In our project, we examine four contexts:
1) artifacts for augmenting human capabilities
2) practices of experimental self-modification
3) popular scientific discourse on technologised futures of humanity
4) representations of technologically modified humans in science fiction computer games.