Michael Beach reports on 2019 SLSA conference

Thursday, November 14, 2019

By Michael Beach, HCDE PhD student

Donna Haraway and HCDE PhD student Michael Beach, 2019 SLSA conference

I had the privilege of attending the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, hosted by the University of California, Irvine. Even though this was my first SLSA conference experience, I was a part of three activities. I co- ran and designed a speculative design workshop with Tyler Fox called Speculative Transduction: Iterating Our Way Through Climate Catastrophe. I was also on two panels: (1) Speculative Design in Climactic Times with others from UW: Heidi Biggs, Audrey Desjardins and Tyler Fox, and (2) Legacies of Cybernetics with Jonathan Bratt, Muindi Fanuel Muindi, Garrett Johnson, Thierry Bardini, Phillip Thurtle, Nat Mengist and Desiree Foerster. Running a fast paced workshop was somewhat stressful and out of my comfort zone, but by the end of the workshop and after the following panel, I became aware that I am able to successfully engage in this form of work. See many images from the workshop at the end of this document.

The work presented at SLSA was very impressive and covered a wide range of topics that bridge the humanities & arts with science. I am looking forward to representing HCDE at next year’s conference at the University of Michigan.

I also got to meet one of my intellectual heroes, author or the famous piece Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway. She received a lifetime achievement award on the last day of the conference. 

Photos from the workshop: