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by Andy Miah, PhD

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Posthuman law in the human world

details of a seminar due to take place on Tuesday 12 April, 2005
4-6pm, Venue: TBA, South Building, Coleraine Campus, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland

Professor Sandra Braman
Department of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


'Posthuman Law in the Human World'

The assumption that the law is made by humans for humans no longer
holds: Increasingly, the subject of policy is the information
infrastructure itself, machinic rather than social values play
ever-more important roles in decision-making, and laws and regulations
for human society are being supplemented, supplanted, and superceded by
machinic decision-making. The transformation of the legal system
wrought by such changes is so profound that it may be said that we are
entering a period of posthuman law. These trends are likely to be
exacerbated in future as ubiquitous embedded computing at the
nanotechnological level destroys any meaningful distinction between the
"information infrastructure" and the material environment. They will
in turn force reconsideration of distinctions among the "natural," the
"human," and the "machinic". And they raise quite new questions about
what it might mean to effectively participate in decision-making about
the conditions of our individual and social lives.


Sandra Braman has been studying the macro-level effects of the use of
digital technologies and their policy implications since the mid-1980s.
Current work includes Change of State: An Introduction to Information
Policy (in press, MIT Press) and the recent edited volumes
Communication Researchers and Policy-makers (2003, MIT Press), The
Emergent Global Information Policy Regime (2004, Palgrave Macmillan)
and The Meta-technologies of Information: Biotechnology and
Communication (2004, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates). With Ford
Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation support, Braman has been working
on problems associated with the effort to bring the research and
communication policy communities more closely together. She has
published over four dozen scholarly journal articles, book chapters,
and books; served as book review editor of the Journal of
Communication; and is former Chair of the Communication Law & Policy
Division of the International Communication Association. Braman
currently sits on the editorial boards of six scholarly journals; is a
Fulbright Senior Specialist; and has been appointed a fellow of the
Educause Center for Applied Research, a think tank focused on IT and
higher education. During 1997-1998 Braman designed and implemented the
first graduate-level program in telecommunication and information
policy on the African continent, for the University of South Africa.
Currently Professor of Communication at the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Braman earned her PhD from the University of
Minnesota in 1988 and previously served as Reese Phifer Professor at
the University of Alabama, Henry Rutgers Research Fellow at Rutgers
University, Research Assistant Professor at the University of
Illinois-Urbana, and the Silha Fellow of Media Law and Ethics at the
University of Minnesota.

To attend contact:

Digital Media and Digital Culture Seminar Series
Centre for Media Research, University of Ulster
Coleraine Campus, Northern Ireland

For futher information, expressions of interest and inquiries, please

Ned Rossiter
Senior Lecturer in Media Studies (Digital Media)
Centre for Media Research
University of Ulster
Cromore Road
Northern Ireland
BT52 1SA

email: n.rossiter@ulster.ac.uk
tel.+44 (0)28 7032 3275


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