New Writing, Technogenesis: a class blog archive for Spring 2015

Welcome to our class blog! As this class develops, I’ll be updating things here and students will be posting their writing. It will form a publicaly-accessable archive of our class this semester.

The first iteration of this class blogged at and you can see a variety of posts and discussions there. The organization for this class will be slightly different, but we’ll still use the medium as a place to write and discuss through text.

You may notice the shift in names from one blog to the other which reflects a focusing of attention from the philosophy of “Posthumanism” more generally to the human/technology boundary specifically. “Technogenesis” emerged as a key theme last time, so I’m putting it upfront and center. Technogenesis, as I use the term, refers to the way that technological developments effect the development of human biological life, through evolution or within a person’s lifespan. It also can be used to think about the forms of nonhuman life which emerge from human technologies, such as laboratory lifeforms or, arguably, artificial intelligences. Finally, technogenesis could be understood globally to consider how all kinds of life on Earth must adapt to human technological transformations in this epoch of the “anthropocene.”

This class will reflect on new media and new writing with an attention to the phenomena of technogenesis. Like the image I’ve used for the header, an 1843 daguerreotype showing a daguerreotype photo being taken,(1) we will write while reflecting on the medium of writing. In this way, it will also engage in a modest technogenetic project of its own as we develop ourselves as self-reflective writers in a digital age.

1. “Jabez Hogg and Mr. Johnson” (1843) This image is in the public domain and archived here <’s_Studio,_1843.jpg > The entry for this photo in the Getty Images archive provides this caption, “UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 02: Jabez Hogg (1817-1899) making a portrait in Richard Beard’s studio. Hogg is timing the exposure with his watch. The daguerreotype was probably taken to illustrate Hogg’s ‘A practical Manual of Photography’, 1843. The sitter is probably William S Johnson, father of John Johnson, a partner in the world’s first portrait studio opened in New York in 1840. Richard Beard (1801- 1885) was the patentee of the daguerreotype process in England and Wales from 1841 to 1853. In March 1841 he opened the first daguerreotype studio in Europe at the Royal Polytechnic Institution. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)” < >


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seth josephson

Ph.D. student doing research and teaching in Religion, Science, and Technology at OSU's Comparative Studies Department. Drinker of tea. Rider of bikes. Watcher of sunsets.

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