Science Fiction, Cyborgs, and Posthuman

Because of very definition science-fiction is perhaps the form of literature most related to non-fiction, science, philosophy and politics. This genre is created by a kind of brainstorming relation between existing technology and possible situations and conditions that the world may see in the future. This is why science fiction’s presents concepts that, are interesting for academic fields and which include ideas about artificial intelligence, relations between human and machine, and also the ways in which way automation, androids or cyborg-beings could change people’s everyday lives. Donna Haraway’s 1984 publication “A Cyborg Manifesto” integrates debates of social sciences with the world of general science on one hand, and on the other it has become a bridge between science-fiction practice and the notion of the anthropocene (The age when we can see significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems). Women’s science-fiction literature, under the impact of popular authors, like Ursula K. LeGuin and Margaret Atwood, creates a holistic perspective by discussing contemporary ideas and technologies with social and political matters. At the same time sci-fi has become something of enormous value for popular culture in recent years. From Westworld, which is a virtual-reality of android characters, to Orphan Black, which tells the struggle of some companies through clone characters’ solidarity stories, science-fiction has become one of the most popular things in recent cultural consumption. Following the adaptation of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness will be adapted into a new series, and it looks like science fiction’s popularity will undoubtedly continue. From gender difference to ecological crises, from effects of machines on social life to the politics of fertility and population, contemporary topics of debate can be discussed through science-fiction. Womanhood and humanhood, nature and future of humanity, post-human debates will all able to become part of this. In this panel, we would like to focus on possible effects of woman writers, particularly LeGuin and Atwood on science-fiction genre’s improvement. We aim to enrich our debate by some questions, such as:In the history of sci-fi up to, the last decades of 20th. century, one could see that space wars, and human’s struggle against other species became the most important topics. What are the main issues of the sci-fi genre today? How do woman writers affect contemporary sci-fi subtitles? Can machines, artificial intelligence, or cyborg suggest readers any potential beyond sex and gender? How can the concept of post-human be discussed through other concepts, such as sex, sexuality and reproduction?