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Emerson Los Angeles Lecture on Bionic Body

Emerson College Los Angeles presents “The Bionic Body: Representations of Disability in Post-Human Culture” by author, dramaturg, theatre scholar and Fellow-in-Residence, Associate Professor Magda Romanska

WHAT: Emerson College Los Angeles is offering a free public lecture on modern representations of the disabled, answering some of the most pressing questions on the topic.

WHEN: Monday, November 17, 2014 from 6:00PM – 9:00PM PST

WHERE: Emerson College Los Angeles, 5960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

WHO: The lecture will be given by Emerson College Associate Professor Magda Romanska. Magda Romanska is a writer, dramaturg, and theatre theorist. In addition to teaching at Emerson, she is Visiting Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, Research Associate at Harvard University's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, and Dramaturg for Boston Lyric Opera.

WHY: Join us at our new state-of-the-art Los Angeles facility to explore various modern representations of the disabled in the films, theater and Internet of contemporary culture. Historically, performing the role of the disabled has been one of the surest roads to the Oscars. Think: Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man or Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot. Yet, until very recently, the mainstream iconography of the disabled operated mostly via stereotypes: the disabled were a plot problem that has to be either cured (in optimistic, inspirational narratives), or disposed of (in heroic, redemptive stories). With technological progress, perceptions of what the disabled body is have been changing—while also raising questions about the capacities and limits of the non-disabled body. Voluntary cyborg-like enhancements of the human body redefine previous categories of what is and isn’t a disabled body; in comparison to the technologically enhanced bionic body, every body can be thought of as a ‘disabled’ body.

This reality sets the stage for answering some of the most pressing questions on the topic:

  • How are we to write new challenging narratives that counter the old anachronistic modes of representation?
  • How can actors play these exciting new roles without replicating old clichés?
  • How does the concept of the bionic body affect representation of the disabled in contemporary culture (theatre, film, new media)?

HOW: Register online at /ela/post-graduate-professional-studies/lectures/bionic-body

PARKING: Paid parking available at the Palladium lot at Sunset and Argyle.

CONTACT: For more information about the lecture, contact Michael Rodriguez, 323-952-6411,

About Emerson College Los Angeles

Based in Boston, Emerson College, the world’s premier center for the study and practice of communication and the arts, was the first East Coast College to establish a residential study and internship program in Los Angeles in the 1980s.  While Emerson has had a 27-year presence in Los Angeles, the College’s new permanent facility, located on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, represents a significant commitment to the City and to the entertainment and communication industries. Designed by internationally renowned architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects, the Gold LEED-certified facility had its grand opening in March 2014.  More than 4,300 Emerson students have already participated in internships at renowned film studios, media outlets, marketing agencies and related enterprises in LA, which is also home to more than 4,000 successful Emerson alumni.  For more information on Emerson College Los Angeles, visit


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