Phun 2017: experiencing the posthuman

The First Annual Post-Human Network Graduate Student Conference

Experiencing the Posthuman

March 24-25, 2017

Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Marcel O’Gorman

University of Waterloo, Department of English Language and Literature

"Digital Rituals for the End of the World"

March 24th, 9:30am, Stauffer Hall B111

Marcel’s hometown is Windsor, Ontario, which sprawls out in the shadows of the Detroit skyline. This might explain his obsession with border culture and interdisciplinary work. Marcel did his doctorate at the University of Florida, where he worked with the inventive and controversial Derridean scholar Gregory Ulmer. Since 2006 he has been working at the University of Waterloo with the hope of breaking new ground in the area of “applied media theory.” As the Director of the Critical Media Lab at uWaterloo, he oversees the creation of digital objects-to-think-with, where digital art practices serve as problem-solving tools for social and philosophical issues. His digital work ends up in art galleries and/or in publications about technoculture. He teaches a wide range of courses that combine critical thinking and hands-on creation, including Introduction to Digital Media Studies, Rhetoric of Digital Design, Memory and Techne, and Digital Abstinence.

Marcel is the author of Necromedia (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press (Posthumanities Series), 2015) and E-Crit: Digital Media, Critical Theory and the Humanities (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005).


The First Annual Post-Human Network Graduate Student Conference:

Experiencing the Post-Human

March 24th & 25th, 2017

Arizona State University

The time is coming when it will hardly be possible to write a book of philosophy as it has been done for so long: 'Ah! the old style...'. The search for new means of philosophical expression was begun by Nietzsche and must be pursued today in relation to the renewal of certain other arts, such as the theatre or the cinema.

-Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition

In the wake of the speculative, material, post-humanist turns in critical theory and philosophy it is increasingly difficult to know how to “do” theory in the 21st century. When thought, agency, and perception are no longer understood as solely the privilege of anthropos, and are instead distributed across the Earth according to varying degrees of complexity, what are the most appropriate means for thinking and experiencing these planetary forces? Are the scholarly practices in contemporary theory up to the task of thinking and experimenting with the wide range of more-than-human phenomena that now confront scholars? Existing institutional structures, however, make it difficult to experiment with new forms of scholarly exchange. Strict academic protocols tend to dictate how ideas are shared and they leave little to no room for experimentation. In light of these questions and challenges, this conference seeks to rethink scholarly practice under the guise of “Experiencing the Post-Human.” The many interdisciplinary resonances of post-humanism make it an ideal site to interrogate and integrate new practices and forums of idea exchange. We invite projects from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to:

-sonic and visual arts, media archaeology, design studies

-urban studies, political ecologies, cultural geographies

-actor-network theories, dynamical systems theories, vitalisms

-literary and film theory, cultural studies, informatics and HCI

Topics could include:

-human-computer interactions

-sensing urban soundscapes

-acoustic ecologies

-post-human environments

-becoming post-human

-new material feminisms

-quantum politics

-non-human cognition


-political economies of digital cultures

-post-human erotics

-machinic sexualities

-speculative design

-horror philosophies

-dark media

-objects and relations

-non-human allies

-alien phenomenologies

The Post-Human Network (PHuN) is a graduate-student led organization with members from across Arizona State University. Framing the conference as a method for idea exchange, we propose the inaugural gathering as a site to playfully interrogate the rites and rituals of the traditional academic conference. We aim to curate sessions that juxtapose diverse methodologies and media in order to experiment with and further an emerging transdisciplinary conversation around the following question: “How do we experience the post-human?”

We invite traditional and experimental academic presentations, including but not limited to: facilitated discussions, group activities, design workshops, lecture demos, lecture performances, artist talks, as well as paper presentations from the arts, sciences, and humanities. We invite all interested applicants to submit an abstract below.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS: Abstracts should be 300-500 words in length. We ask that the abstract address the proposed format of the presentation. In a separate short statement, applicants are asked to indicate a length of time for their format: twenty minutes, one hour, or two hours. Other time slots may be proposed, but please provide justification. Applicants are also asked to indicate if they would like access to extra-ordinary spaces and/or technical equipment. We have access to a variety of different performance and gallery spaces as well as audio/visual technologies and will accommodate everything possible.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 6, 2017. We are not accepting further submissions at this time.

Please feel free to e-mail PHuN graduate students with any questions regarding potential submissions at

The conference is supported by the ASU School of Arts Media and Engineering, the Lab for Critical Technics, the Synthesis Center, the ASU Department of English, the ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the Center for Science and the Imagination, and ASU Institute for Research in the Humanities.