Lecture March 26 on Robots in Japan

Gendering Robots: Robo-Sexism in Japan

Public lecture by Dr. Jennifer Robertson

University of Michigan

Monday March 26 at 2:00 pm in Gorgas 205

Dr. Roberston is Professor of Anthropology and the History of Art at the University of Michigan and has published Robo Sapiens Japanicus: Robots, Gender, Family, and the Japanese Nation. While at UA she will share from her research on this project. In humans and humanoid robots alike, gender—femininity, masculinity—constitutes an array of learned behaviors that are cosmetically enabled and enhanced. In humans, these behaviors are both socially and historically shaped, but are also contingent upon many situational influences, including individual choices. In this lecture, Dr. Robertson will explore the sex/gender dynamics informing the design and embodiment of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, especially humanoids in Japan. The argument she will make is that advanced technology does not necessarily promote social progress but rather is deployed to reinforce conservative models of sex/gender roles and family structures.

Asian Studies appreciate the support of these co-sponsors for this lecture.

Anthropology, Capstone International Center, Modern Languages and Classics, New College, and Religious Studies

Event flyer