E.O. Wilson and Katherine Hayles “What Makes us Human?”

Entanglements Lecture Series
E.O. Wilson and Katherine Hayles, “What Makes us Human?”
October 8, 2014 | 7:00-8:45
Indianapolis Central Library, Clowes Auditorium
$35 general admission | $15 students

When did we become human? Are human and animal societies that much different? Do we already live in an age of cyborgs?

E.O. Wilson and Katherine Hayles visit Indianapolis as part of the new IAHI Entanglements Lecture Series.  Entanglements brings together scientists, humanists, and artists to discuss “big questions” that affect all of us.

At our inaugural event, E.O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning biologist, will join Katherine Hayles, specialist in the culture of cyborgs and virtual bodies, in a conversation that will take us on a journey to answer one of humanity’s most fundamental questions: “What makes us human?”

Over the course of this evening, Wilson and Hayles will discuss the evolution of human consciousness, the relationship between biology, society, culture, and technology, and the future of humanity.  This will be an event that changes the way you think about yourself and your world.

EO WilsonDr. E.O. Wilson is Professor Emeritus and Honorary Curator in Entomology at Harvard University.  He is a two time Pulitzer Prize winner, a National Medal of Science awardee, a Crafoord Prize recipient (given by the Academy in fields of science it does not cover by the Nobel Prize), and a TED Prize Winner.  In fact, he has received over 100 awards throughout his career. He is the author of numerous books, including Sociobiology, The Ants, The Diversity of Life, Consilience, The Social Conquest of Earth, and Letters to a Young Scientist.  During his career he has explored the biggest questions through the littlest creatures — ants. He is a prominent environmental advocate, and in March 2014, the government of Mozambique opened the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory in Gorongosa National Park — a tribute to Wilson’s worldwide impact.

Katherine HaylesDr. Katherine Hayles is Professor of Literature at Duke University.  Her book, How We Became Posthuman, published in 1999, was named one of the best 25 books of 1999 by The Village Voice and received the Rene Wellek Prize for Best Book in Literary Theory.  She is the author of multiple books, including The Cosmic Web, Chaos Bound, Writing Machines, How We Think, and My Mother Was a Computer.  A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEH Fellowships, a Rockefeller Residential Fellowship, and a National Humanities Center Fellowship, Dr. Hayles  is a leading social and literary critic with interests in cyborg anthropology, digital humanities, electronic literature, science and technology, science fiction, and critical theory.

The Entanglements Lecture Series is made possible through the generous support of the Efroymson Family Fund, the IU School of Dentistry, and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

This event is a collaboration between the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, Indiana Humanities, and the Spirit and Place Festival.

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New IU ethics consortium announces funding for research projects

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is offering funding for research proposals from IU faculty that explore the theme of wonder, especially as it intersects with nature and the environment.

The IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics and Society is an interdisciplinary association of scholars, academic programs and research centers from the eight campuses of Indiana University. The consortium was launched in January 2014 to leverage IU’s strengths in the interdisciplinary study of religion and advance research in key thematic areas.

This is the first call for research proposals from the new consortium. The research proposals are part of the first phase of a two-year thematic initiative — “Wonder and the Natural World” — sponsored by the consortium.

rachel carsonThe approaching 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book “The Sense of Wonder” in 2015 makes the IU consortium’s theme especially timely, said Lisa Sideris, associate professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, who is also the inaugural director of the consortium.

“Wonder has played a key role in the environmental movement since that movement’s inception,” Sideris said. “We’re seeking proposals that ‘push the envelope’ in exploring the intersecting themes of wonder and nature, such as war and nature (‘shock and awe’), children’s natural spirituality, cinematic or fictional representations of wonder, even areas such as genetic engineering and wonder in artificial environments, like theme parks.”

Funding of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams is available. Full-time, tenure-track IU faculty members from any IU campus are eligible to apply, with proposals that cut across disciplines, units or campuses especially welcome.

The deadline for proposals is Sept. 1, 2014. Funding awards will be announced at the end of October. Recipients will present their preliminary findings and works-in-progress at a daylong symposium at IU Bloomington in May 2015.

The full call for proposals may be found online on the Department of Religious Studies website. Proposals should be emailed to Abby Gitlitz at agitlitz@indiana.edu. For additional information on the consortium or the funding awards, contact Sideris at lsideris@indiana.edu.