onsdag den 27. oktober 2010

Etik for fantombabier og tillid til spektrale kvinder

on Oct 29th 10-12, The STS-centre at Informations and Media Studies AU, hosts a guest lecture with Monica Casper og Peter-Poul Verbeek:

Monica Casper
Phantom Babies and Spectral Women:
Infant Mortality, Maternal/Child Health,
and Women's Empowerment

This talk will present findings from a multi-sited ethnography of the transnational biopolitics of infant mortality. Specifically, I explore the meanings of infant mortality in relation to the categories "maternal/child health" and "women's health". I suggest that the infant mortality rate (IMR)-an abstract, aggregated, and portable biopolitical object-routinely positions women and their empowerment in essentialist terms of reproductive capacity. That is, women are valued only to the degree that they produce healthy and living babies. In global biopolitical schemes that equate a low IMR with national well-being, women are thus a means to the end of healthy states. Policymakers, clinicians, NGOs, and others deploy the IMR as a demographic concept and indicator in order to reduce unacceptably high rates of infant death. Yet at the same time, by accruing cultural meaning from the gendered and contested field of maternal/child health, this strategy may operate against notions of women as fully human and goals of gender empowerment. I show that maternal/child health is not, in fact, synonymous in discourse or practice with a feminist articulation of women's health or transnational efforts to improve the status of women.

Peter-Poul Verbeek:
Trust and Technology:
on the ethics of human-technology relations

Trust is a central dimension in the relation between human beings and technologies. Many ethical approaches of technology start from distrust, and focus on technological risks. At the same time, in public discourse technology is still often treated as a neutral instrument that is trusted blindly to do what it is supposed to do.
Many approaches to trust and technology depart from a conceptualization of the relation between human beings and technologies as an external relation: a relation between pre-given entities that can have an impact on each other but that do not mutually constitute each other. From this perspective, relations of trust can vary between reliance, as is present for instance in technological extensionism, and suspicion, as in various precautionary approaches in ethics that focus on technological risks.
Against these two interpretations of trust, I will develop a third one. Based on a more internal account of the relations between human beings and technologies, it becomes possible to see that every technological development puts at stake what it means to be a human being. Using technologies, then, implies trusting ourselves to technologies.
By discussing various new technologies, I will argue that this does not imply an uncritical subjection to technology. Rather, recognizing that technologies help to constitute human subjectivity implies that human beings can get actively involved in processes of technological mediation. Trust then has the character of confidence: deliberately trusting oneself to technology.

This open lecture will be held October 29, 10-12
In the meetingroom Ada 333 (Aarhus Universitet)
Åbent for alle interesserede. Website