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Mutual Inspirations Festival 2015 - Karel Čapek

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Panel Discussion: Čapek's R.U.R. in Our Rationalized World

Panel Discussion: Čapek's R.U.R. in Our Rationalized World

October 01, 2015, 6:00 PM

American University, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic, will present the panel discussion Čapek's R.U.R. in Our Rationalized World in the Battelle-Tompkins Atrium on October 1, at 6 pm. Ninety-five years ago, Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. first introduced the word "robot" into science fiction, forever altering the shape of our dreams and nightmares about the future. Yet the image of the robot encompasses many versions of the future and reflects as many ideas about what it means to be human. This complex reflexivity of the trope of the robot, which is both the Other that defines the human and humanity's more-than-human double, is central in Čapek’s play. This panel will explore why R.U.R. is still relevant nearly a century after its premiere, considering various dimensions of the play and its reception including science fiction and the question of genre, social anxieties surrounding labor and technology in an increasingly rationalized world, and the transnational legacy of Čapek’s language.

Despina Kakoudaki, American University (Associate Professor)

Carl Gelderloos, Binghamton University (SUNY) (Assistant Professor)
Anna Horakova, Cornell University (Ph.D. Candidate)
Robert Řehák, Cultural Attaché, Embassy of the Czech Republic
Evan Torner, University of Cincinnati (Assistant Professor)

Date: October 1, 6 pm

RSVP by September 29

Location: American University
Battelle-Tompkins Atrium
Battelle Tompkins Memorial Building
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Parking is free after 5 pm in the following locations on Campus:

  • American University's School of International Service Building. The entrance is off of Nebraska Avenue.
  • Bender Arena
    Enter from Massachusetts Avenue and drive under Mary Graydon Center. You will make a sharp right then into the parking garage.
  • Katzen Arts Center
    Located off of Massachusetts Avenue


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