Visiting Professor Mojca Krevel Leads UMA Colloquium on CyberPunk Lit and Technology: March 26 at Noon

Sci-Fi Live: Cyberpunk Lecture by UMA Visiting Professor Mojca Krevel

Sci-Fi Live: From William Gibson to Ray Kurzweil

Mojca Krevel, Professor of English at University of Ljubljana and UMA Visiting Scholar

Wednesday, March 26, Noon to 1 pm, to be followed by a reception from 1 pm to 2pm

University of Maine at Augusta Katz Library
46 University Drive, Augusta ME 04330

Students, Staff, Faculty and Community are Welcome

Abstract:
“I got the idea for the topic of this talk a few months ago when, while randomly flipping through channels, my attention was caught by the familiar phantasmagoria of flickering trajectories of brain-computer interfacing and pulsing images of neurons firing to computer-generated data. What initially looked like a yet unseen documentary on the 1980s cyberpunk movement, was, in fact, a film version of Ray Kurzweil’s 2005 best-selling The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Technology. The resemblance between Kurzweil’s vision of the future and the worlds of literary cyberpunk, especially those envisioned in William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy, seemed uncanny.

“The thing is, Kurzweil’s predictions for the future fundamentally rely on the actual developments and developmental trends in 1990s and 2000s technology and science. Kurzweil is, after all, an award-winning inventor, mathematician, and one of the leading experts on computer and artificial intelligence. William Gibson, on the other hand, is a full-time sci-fi writer with a BA in English, who provided the blueprint for what were to become the trademarks of the 1980s cyberpunk writing: computers, computerized environments and artificial intelligence. But while fuelling digital fantasies of thousands of computer geeks, Gibson wrote most of his Sprawl trilogy on a typewriter and consciously avoided using the internet well into the 1990s.

“In my talk I will focus on two things. First I will present the extent to which Kurzweil’s informed and well-founded projections coincide with the invented concepts and motifs in Gibson’s 1980s Sprawl trilogy. I will then consider the correspondence from the perspective of the hitherto established mechanisms governing the functioning and the structure of the postmodern epoch. Relying primarily on the concepts and terminology developed by Jean Baudrillard I will show that the high degree of correspondence is far from uncanny; it is practically inevitable given the popularity of Gibson’s trilogy. The explanation will also make clear why the criticism and controversies surrounding the accuracy and feasibility of Kurzweil’s predictions are ultimately irrelevant to the topic at hand.”


UMA RaP Colloquium SeriesThe Research and Pedagogy program is made possible by the support of the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost.  We are also grateful to the office of President Handley for making this special reception possible.  If you are interested in presenting your work at a future RaP session, please contact Jodi Williams at 621-3341, Sarah Hentges at 262-7762 or James Cook at 621-3190.

Don’t-Miss UMA Colloquium: Laura Rodas on Academic Integrity, 2/12/2014

The UMA RaP Colloquium Series presents

“The State of Academic Integrity at UMA”

Laura Rodas, Coordinator of Community Standards and Mediation
Wednesday, February 12, 12 noon
University of Maine at Augusta Katz Library

As part of its continuing commitment to building intellectual community, the University of Maine at Augusta holds a regular Research and Pedagogy (RaP) colloquium series at which UMA faculty and staff present works in progress to their peers. Ensuing discussion promotes collaboration through the exchange of ideas and the development of relationships across colleges, programs, departments and disciplines. When we meet to present and to learn, we discover that amidst the accumulated knowledge of the centuries, there are still new thoughts to be spoken out loud.

Academic honesty in higher education is of the utmost importance. During February 12th’s RaP session, Laura Rodas will lead discussion focused on UMA’s Academic Integrity Code and procedures, the responsibilities of faculty members, students, and the Office of the Dean of Students and the logistics of making a complaint.  Special attention will be paid to delineation of academic sanctions vs. disciplinary sanctions, repeat violations, and examples of challenging academic integrity matters.  A question and answer period with refreshments will follow.

The Research And Pedagogy program is made possible by the support of the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost.  If you are interested in giving a presentation at a future RAP session, please contact:

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