Posthuman law in the human world


details of a seminar due to take place on Tuesday 12 April, 20054-6pm, Venue: TBA, South Building, Coleraine Campus, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

Professor Sandra Braman Department of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Abstract

'Posthuman Law in the Human World'

The assumption that the law is made by humans for humans no longer holds: Increasingly, the subject of policy is the information infrastructure itself, machinic rather than social values play ever-more important roles in decision-making, and laws and regulations for human society are being supplemented, supplanted, and superceded by machinic decision-making. The transformation of the legal system wrought by such changes is so profound that it may be said that we are entering a period of posthuman law. These trends are likely to be exacerbated in future as ubiquitous embedded computing at the nanotechnological level destroys any meaningful distinction between the "information infrastructure" and the material environment. They will in turn force reconsideration of distinctions among the "natural," the "human," and the "machinic". And they raise quite new questions about what it might mean to effectively participate in decision-making about the conditions of our individual and social lives.

Bio

Sandra Braman has been studying the macro-level effects of the use of digital technologies and their policy implications since the mid-1980s. Current work includes Change of State: An Introduction to Information Policy (in press, MIT Press) and the recent edited volumes Communication Researchers and Policy-makers (2003, MIT Press), The Emergent Global Information Policy Regime (2004, Palgrave Macmillan) and The Meta-technologies of Information: Biotechnology and Communication (2004, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates). With Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation support, Braman has been working on problems associated with the effort to bring the research and communication policy communities more closely together. She has published over four dozen scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and books; served as book review editor of the Journal of Communication; and is former Chair of the Communication Law & Policy Division of the International Communication Association. Braman currently sits on the editorial boards of six scholarly journals; is a Fulbright Senior Specialist; and has been appointed a fellow of the Educause Center for Applied Research, a think tank focused on IT and higher education. During 1997-1998 Braman designed and implemented the first graduate-level program in telecommunication and information policy on the African continent, for the University of South Africa. Currently Professor of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Braman earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1988 and previously served as Reese Phifer Professor at the University of Alabama, Henry Rutgers Research Fellow at Rutgers University, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois-Urbana, and the Silha Fellow of Media Law and Ethics at the University of Minnesota.

To attend contact:

Digital Media and Digital Culture Seminar Series Centre for Media Research, University of Ulster Coleraine Campus, Northern Ireland

For futher information, expressions of interest and inquiries, please contact:

Ned Rossiter Senior Lecturer in Media Studies (Digital Media) Centre for Media Research University of Ulster Cromore Road Coleraine Northern Ireland BT52 1SA

email: n.rossiter@ulster.ac.uk tel.+44 (0)28 7032 3275