This two-day conference is the first of an interdisciplinary series investigating developments in the arts and sciences responding to the manufacturing of being, and will feature keynote presentations from artist Paul Vanouse and Sherryl Vint of UCR. It will be held at the University of Sussex in late November 2017 (date to be confirmed). ‘Imagining Life’ is part of a wider interdisciplinary research project, Artificial Lives, which will examine cultural responses to advances in the creation of life and new extensions of the body.

In the wake of the creation of the first stable semisynthetic organism, and numerous other developments in the enhancing and manufacturing of artificial life, thinkers and practitioners across disciplines are seeking to reconceive our understanding of extended being. Significant developments in fields including, and not limited to Biopolitics, Disability Studies, Affect studies, Post humanism and Medical Humanities have contributed to a new understanding of the limits and nature of the human, and of the environment. As the gap between speculation and reality narrows, this conference provides a timely opportunity to survey and reflect on the impact of synthesised lifeforms on our picture of the lifeworld.

We welcome papers across disciplines from academics and practitioners, including, but by no means limited to, the following suggested areas:


  •       Artificial intelligence
  •       Speculative fiction
  •       Representations of virtual and physical prosthetics
  •       Representations of disability
  •       Genetic and genomic recoding
  •       Visual representations of artificial life
  •       Posthumanism
  •       Chemical manufacturing applied to life forms
  •       Critical materialism
  •      Impact on Environments and Environmentalisim
  •      Rethinking anthropocentrism

Please submit a 250 word abstract and short bio here by 1st September 2017.

Further information can be found on the project website. Regular updates can be found on our Twitter @Artificialives.

If you have any queries, please send us an email.

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Centre for Medical Humanities
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