How we became posthuman – Explorations of Cyberpunk and Biopunk: a presentation by Dr Lars Schmeink (March 16, 6pm, on campus)

How we became posthuman – Explorations of Cyberpunk and Biopunk: a presentation by Dr Lars Schmeink (March 16, 6pm, on campus)

CSFF is pleased to announce that Dr Lars Schmeink, Leverhulme Professor at the University of Leeds, will be visiting Anglia Ruskin University March 16 to present his talk about cyberpunk and biopunk. The event will be on the Cambridge campus, 6.00-7.15pm, in the Lord Ashcroft Building room 109. To RSVP please contact

He describes the session:

“In the 1980s science fictional imagination, the future was saturated with invasive technology. Bodies were invaded by mechanical and electronic prosthesis, overcoming physical biological limitations and creating cyborg hybridity. Digital structures invaded the mind, opening it to new, virtual worlds that paralleled our own. Cyberpunk imagined a world in which bodies and minds were extended, transformed and hybridized with cybertechnology. Some thirty years onwards, we have–in a sense–become the posthuman beings that cyberpunk imagined: constantly connected with a virtual realm through visceral technology, able to replace the limited body with 3D-printed parts, and challenging the concepts of what it means to be human. But cybertechnology is not the only technology impacting our posthuman selves. Since the Human Genome Project mapped our DNA in the year 2000, biotechnology has replaced cybertechnology in becoming dominant in the science-fictional imagination. Genetic splicing, CRISPR/CAS, stem cell manipulation, virology, cloning and many more are at the core of our anxieties about the future. The talk will trace our technoscientific imagination, delving into what makes us posthuman, what makes us become-other, moving from the cybernetic and prosthetic transhumanist fantasies of 1980s cyberpunk to critical posthumanist interventions in hybrid and liquid subjectivities in our contemporary SF, or what I call Biopunk Dystopias.”

Dr Lars Schmeink is currently a Leverhulme Professor at the University of Leeds where he researches “Progressive Science Fiction from Germany”. In 2010, he inaugurated the Gesellschaft für Fantastikforschung and until 2019 served as president of the board. He is the author of Biopunk Dystopias (2016), and the co-editor of Cyberpunk and Visual Culture (2018), The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture (2020), Fifty Key Figures in Cyberpunk Culture (2022) and New Perspectives in Contemporary German Science Fiction (2022).


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