We are pleased to share an invitation to this IAS Talking Points Seminar which will be given by IAS Visiting Research Fellow Jimena Escudero Pérez. We will also be joined by Anna Bunting-Branch (Slade School of Fine Art, UCL) and Professor Rose Marie San Juan (History of Art, UCL) who will be respondents for this seminar.

The woman-machine association has long been a part of cinematographic discourse: since Maria in Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1929), a fascinating evolution of the artificially-created female can be traced to the present day. In the past four years, we have witnessed the renaissance of this character’s prominence in films which offer very interesting conceptualisations of what femininity stands for. Automata(Gabe Ibáñez, 2014), The Machine (Caradog W. James, 2013), Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015) and Her (Spike Jonze, 2013) are titles which straightforwardly draw our attention to this problematic liaison. As opposed to previous representations, the artificial women in these fictions not only lead the action but also stand out as the only survivors in relation to their male counterparts and are able to define an unconstrained identity of their own, regardless of, for instance, the imposition of gender. From more archaic, mechanistic fembots through complex cyborgs to pure AI consciousness, we will address the different ways in which femininity can be featured, constructed and conveyed, as well as a significant shift in the traditional sexualisation and narrative profile of these characters.

All welcome.


Wed 17 May 2017

18:00 – 20:00 BST

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IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

University College London

Gower Street



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Event date: 
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 -
18:00 to 20:00