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National Summer Symposium on Human Enhancement Technologies

Posted by plosmedicine on 30 Mar 2009 at 23:41 GMT

Author: Martin Kohn
Position: co-director, Center for Literature and Medicine
Institution: Hiram College
Submitted Date: April 13, 2005
Published Date: April 22, 2005
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Readers of this article may be interested to know of a forthcoming symposium on this topic.

Hiram Colleges
Center for Literature, Medicine
and the Health Care Professions
invites you to the

National Summer Symposium
"Human Enhancement Technologies: Through the Looking Glass of Drama"

July 14 (1 PM) - July 17 (Noon), 2005

at the Joseph E. Cole Center
Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH

Co-sponsored by Cleveland State University Division of Continuing Education

Themes: How far beyond good health should we go in our attempt to improve the human body and its functioning? What are the personal and social repercussions of our attempt to normalize the ways we look and act? How much of our pursuit of self-fulfillment and our quest for authentic self-identity are the result of manufactured desire? What happens to the nature of competition when enhancement shortcuts are available for some but not for all? Questions such as these reflect the concerns about the ethics of attempting to improve one's self, one's children or one's species. Should there be any limits? The symposium will focus on these issues through plenary addresses, papers, panels, and drama.

Featuring Dramatic Readings of: Caryl Churchills, A Number; Kurt Vonnegut Jr.s, Fortitude; Eric Cobles, The Machine Stops; and Sarah Mortons, 4 Minutes to Happy (fully-staged production).

Faculty: Carl Elliott, Center for Bioethics - University of Minnesota; Eric Juengst, Maxwell Mehlman, Jennifer Fishman, Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University; Jeff Nisker, Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario; Roxanne Mykitiuk, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Julian Savulescu, Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, University of Oxford, England; Writers-in-Residence: Kristin Ohlson, author of Stalking the Divine; Harvey Pekar, graphic novelist and jazz critic featured in American Splendor. Symposium Directors: Carol Donley and Martin Kohn (Co-Directors of the Center for Literature and Medicine),Eric Juengst.

Paper proposals (500 word abstract/reading time 20 minutes) and panel proposals (1000 word abstract/ hour and a half presentation time) are encouraged. Themes in addition to those above include just distribution of resources; nanotechnologies and human enhancement; transhumanism; the use of drama, performance and the arts in public health generally, and specifically as a method to stimulate dialogue about public policy issues. Electronic submission in Microsoft Word, by April 15, 2005; acceptance informed by May 15, 2005. Visit our website for more details. Submit to:

$195 early registration discount good through May 25, 2005; thereafter, $245. To register now by phone, call 216-687-2144. For more information, email or visit our website

All accepted presenters must register for the symposium.

Competing interests declared: My interest is to further the discussion by promoting our National Summer Symposium on Human Enhancement Technologies.