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INAUGURAL PROFESSOR LECTURE: SEBASTIAN GROES, 'The Prosthetic God: Transactive Cognition in the Age of Connectivity', Respondent: Professor Katherine Hayles (Duke, USA)

  • When? 13 March 2020 , 4.30pm
  • Where? Chancellor's Hall, Wolverhampton, UK

In Civilization and its Discontents (1930), Sigmund Freud argues that people have become prosthetic gods. We use many and different kinds of extensions to transcend the limits of human existence. Recently, new technologies such as smart phones and social media have intensified and accelerated this process. In this lecture, Professor Groes explores the philosophical questions that technological prosthetics raise. He argues for an emergent transitive cognition that provokes a new imaginary in which the individual point of view makes way for collective, intersubjective perspectives that have radical implications for our world. 

About the speaker:
Sebastian Groes is Professor of English Literature at the University of Wolverhampton. He wrote The Making of London (Palgrave, 2011), British Fiction in the Sixties (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Memory in the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave, 2016). He is Series Co-Editor of Contemporary Critical Perspectives (Bloomsbury) and edited volumes on women's fiction after 9/11, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan, amongst others. Groes is the Principal Investigator of The Memory Network, an AHRC and Wellcome Trust-funded Research Network bringing together scientists, arts and humanities scholars, writers and artists. Currently, he does research for the BBC's engagement project, Novels That Shaped Our World. New books projects include Mapping Smell, Memory and Literature in the Black Country (Palgrave, 2020), Brain Attack (John Murray, 2021), and The Prosthetic God (MIT, 2021).