VR as Empathy Machine: VR Innovation & Post-Humanitarianism – School of Social and Political Sciences VR as Empathy Machine: VR Innovation & Post-Humanitarianism – School of Social and Political Sciences

VR as Empathy Machine: VR Innovation & Post-Humanitarianism

Presented by the Disciplines of Sociology & Criminology | Gender & Cultural Studies | Media & Communications

VR as Empathy Machine: VR Innovation & Post-Humanitarianism

 

Speaker: Sandra Ponzanesi, Utrecht University

12-1pm, 8 December
Woolley Seminar Room N208 John Woolley Building (A20)

Virtual reality (VR) is considered a game changer for our media futures. VR is an innovative technology that allows you to experience another person’s point of view through immersion and embodiment. For this reason, it has been postulated as the ultimate ‘empathy machine’, a ‘technology of feeling’ or a good technology that promotes compassion, connection and intimacy by allowing the viewer to experience the lives of those who are distant others, for example migrants or refugees.

This talk explores the enthusiasm, but also the ethical reservations, surrounding this new media genre of post-humanitarian appeal.

Professor Sandra Ponzanesi is Chair and Professor of Media, Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands. She has published widely in the fields of media, postcolonial studies, digital migration and postcolonial cinema with a particular focus on postcolonial Europe from comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives. She is currently leading the NWO funded project “Virtual Reality as Empathy Machine: Media, Migration and the Humanitarian Predicament.

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