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Call for Papers Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America

April 08 2010 | Venice, Italy

Deadline: May 15 2010

sarah@avenueDstereo.com

Updated: January 14 2010

Panel on: Artificial life: Golems, Homunculi, Automata
The definition of life seems to be a particularly 20th- or 21st- century conundrum with our current debates over the ethics of cloning, abortion, and stem-cell research. Although the Judeo-Christian creation story set forth in Genesis established orthodox views on the origins of life and the differences among humans and other animals, the period saw its own upheavals in the understanding of life, from the discovery of bizarre life forms in newly explored regions of the planet to the revelations of the microscope. I invite papers that look at the possibilities for artificial life or artificial intelligence, as they were explored in fields such as alchemy, natural philosophy, mechanics and clockworks, or mathematics. What does the early modern quest for artificial life tell us about religious, metaphysical, scientific, or political definitions of the body and mind? Please send a CV and abstract of no more than 150 words by 15 May to Sarah Benson, Saint John's College, Annapolis: sarah@avenueDstereo.com or sarah.benson@sjca.edu.