Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Ropar

HSS Seminar

‘To be Human, or Not to be Human, that is the Posthuman Question!'


Prof. T Ravichandran

November 27 , 2018 at  10:00AM

Venue: Lecture Hall 4


To contain posthumanism, one has to comprehend two strands that configure it. The first strand perceives posthumanism as a progressive stage that has evolved from humanism and transhumanism.  Whereas, the second strand views it as a holistic concept that has emanated from a symbiotic relationship between the human and the non-human. The human, as emphasised by Rosi Braidotti and Cary Wolfe would include the sub-human, in-human, anti-human; and the non-human comprises, apart from animals and living environment, robots, cyborgs, replicants or any such biotechnological entity endowed with artificial intelligence that jeopardises and constantly negotiates with the received notions of human identity. While Katherine Hayles, Donna Haraway and others shock us by revealing that we have already become posthuman, the central question, however, in both of these strands is whether one can afford to continue to exist meekly as a human with human dignity or succumb to the wonders and promises of human enhancement technologies and boldly embrace the posthuman possibilities that sets new norms of morphological freedom concomitant with an upgrading of our ethical and moral values.  The lecture attempts to give an overview of the posthuman and perceives it as an inevitable happening in the Anthropocene besides foregrounding the major debates and concerns over the posthuman phenomenon.


About the speaker:

Dr. T. Ravichandran is presently Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.  He has written extensively in the last three decades on English language and literature in general and postmodernism and identity in particular. He edited a special issue on cyberpunk literature for the Creative Forum Journal, and published a book on Postmodern Identity. His teaching and research comprises of themes such as Climate Fiction and Films and Perspectives of the Posthuman and/in the Anthropocene. Prof. T. Ravichandran is the recipient of Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship (2014-15).   He is currently the Champa Devi Gangwal Chair Professor at IIT Kanpur.