Emotions/History in the Age of AI

Tuesdays, 12:30 pm EST
5:30 GMT
ICC 662 and Virtually

Taught by Professor Ananya Chakravarti


This course, offered as part of a joint project between Georgetown University and King’s College, London, will explore the history of emotions as a lens to make sense of our evolving social understanding of intelligence, and of humanity itself, in the age of the technological breakthroughs represented by machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics. While our primary lens of analysis will be centered in the field of emotions history, students will also explore related bodies of historiography, including the history of the body; labor history; histories of race, gender and disability; history of technology and history of psychology. Throughout we will interrogate the Eurocentric assumptions underlying both the history of emotions as a field and of the development of artificial intelligence as a technology. This seminar will also feature several guest speakers over the course of the semester who will share with us their ongoing research related to these questions and will culminate in a symposium where students will share their own research. While the primary disciplinary basis of this course is history, students in related fields are welcome and readings will draw from a diverse body of knowledge, including computer science, history, psychology and cognitive science, anthropology and feminist theory.

For more information about the class, or to register to virtually attend one of the Guest Speaker presentations (below), please contact Professor Ananya Chakravarti. In-person attendance (in ICC 662 on Georgetown University’s Main Campus) does not require registration.

Guest Speakers:

1/30: Fay Bound Alberti, Director, Centre for the Body and Technology, King’s College, London, “On the History of Loneliness” 

2/13: Steven Connor,  Director of Research, Digital Futures Institute, King’s College, London, “On Knowingness: How We Feel About Intelligence”

3/19: JENNIFER MORONE™ INC, artist and incorporated person (to be confirmed)

4/2: 4/2: Edward Jones-Imhotep, Director, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, “On Black Androids”

4/9: JOANNA ZYLINSKA, Professor of Media Philosophy + Critical Digital Practice, King’s College London, “The Perception Machine”