Cyborgs at the Frontiers: Cybernetic Speculation & Human Transcendence

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25 Broadway

25 Broadway · New York, NY

How to find us

Tell security your are visiting Dana Martens at Teach for America & get visitors badge (ID required). Must RSVP ahead of time to be on their list. Use right elevator bank to go to Floor 12. You will be met & led to event space.

Location image of event venue


"Space travel challenges mankind not only technologically but also spiritually, in that it invites man to take an active part in his own biological evolution.”

Thus wrote Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline, the creators of the word “cyborg”, in a 1960 article in which they discussed the challenges of making humans fit for space.

This month, Danya Glabau joins us to discuss how past and present cyborgs can act as figures for speculating the future of humanity.

From Norbert Wiener’s hearing glove, to Clynes and Kline’s metabolically extended mouse, to cyborgs in science fiction, cyborgs figure centrally in speculating about how humans will transcend their bodies and the planet Earth for new frontiers of place, function, and sensation.

Danya will also discuss some of the key dynamics that have arisen in her research on cyborg history:

• How do cyborgs help question the role of 'nature' as a driving impetus for the future of humanity?

• What is the interplay between imagination and reality, science, and science fiction when it comes to cyborgs?

• What is the capacity for cybernetic kinship to be inclusive of, even productive of, queer forms of family, disability, and speculative hope?

After the talk, Danya and Speculative Futures Co-Organizer Doc Martens will facilitate a discussion and break-out groups around the following prompt:

"If you were tasked with designing a cybernetic enhancement, what would it be? What would it do? What ethical questions might it raise?"

Danya is an anthropologist and STS scholar with a PhD from the Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS) at Cornell University. She is also the Founder of Implosion Labs, LLC, an ethnography-driven research and consulting group; an Adjunct Instructor in the department of Technology, Culture, and Society at NYU Tandon School of Engineering; and Faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

Learn more on her website:
Read her essay on cyborgs:

This month, Speculative Futures NYC will take place in the Teach For America offices in downtown Manhattan (where Doc works). It's a great space, but please be sure to register ahead of time as you MUST be on the guest list to get in the building.