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RELIGIOUS STUDIES PRESENTS DR. SYLVESTER JOHNSON

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53a Olson Hall

198 Shields Avenue

Davis, CA 95616

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Dr. Sylvester Johnson of Virginia Tech University will present "Necropolitics and the Singularity: Religion, Technology, and Human Futures in the National Security State." This event is part of the Religious Studies Department Castlefranco series and is sponsored by the departments of Religious Studies, African American and African Studies, Sociology, the Graduate Group in the Study of Religion, and the Davis Humanities Institute.


At a time when the furthest aspirations of military research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human enhancement (synthetic biology and human-machine hybrids) are transforming the ability to alter our humanity and surveil target populations, what once seemed an unlikely convergence between questions of human identity and national security has now become imminent. In this context, the so-called new materiality to which religion scholars have become attuned gains new urgency and prompts important rejoinders. Because national security paradigms, moreover, have thrived on the perception of racial threat, a transdisciplinary approach to national security demands bold attention to what Achille Mbembe has termed the digital future of the human in light of the modern tactics of race. In a nod toward anticipatory governance, this lecture examines the current and impending practices of racial necropolitics to interpret the most pivotal changes occurring in national security practices. The lecture will foreground the promise of human enhancement and the perils of technocratic disparities that are already reshaping fundamental questions in the material history of religion and the uncertain future of the human.

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53a Olson Hall

198 Shields Avenue

Davis, CA 95616

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