This panel discusses anthropological perspectives on the 'posthuman', both as an empirical phenomenon and as a scholarly concept.
Revolutions in technology - whether medical, military, virtual, or biotechnical - have created a new presence: the posthuman. New bodies of work are emerging in philosophy or sociology, and new fields are taking shape around the posthuman, such as science and technology studies. Anthropologists, too, increasingly extend their investigations to include (interactions with) non-human actors. The science of 'man' thus broadens the focus on humanity or humankind as its traditional object of inquiry. This trend raises new epistemological and methodological questions. In this panel, we therefore want to examine the uses the emerging field of the posthuman can be put to for anthropological inquiry. We invite presentations from various sub-fields of anthropology (e.g. medical anthropology, the anthropology of the body, environmental anthropology, or material culture studies), aiming to explore issues like humans and medicines, race and the posthuman, or the environment and the human. We welcome both ethnographic explorations of these issues, as well as more conceptual work on the posthuman.