Of note in looking at the conference description was the comparison of the non-human with the post-human, e.g. of the latter referencing Katherine Hayles’ How We Became Posthuman. (Recall my references to her in comparing dynamic systems and deconstruction here.) Relating to Hayle's posthumanism* see Ivakhiv's initial review of Avatar here, and a synopsis of reviews here.** We see reverberations of this in Dial's recent comment, in that the body (like the Na'vi) is being posthumanized via a non-humanism of object relations, and hence the likes of Ivakhiv's process-oriented, embodied environmentalism as response to OOO. Also see our previous discussion of Avatar here.
* From wikipedia:
"Despite drawing out the differences between 'human' and 'posthuman,' Hayles is careful to note that both perspectives engage in the erasure of embodiment from subjectivity. In the liberal humanist view, cognition takes precedence over the body, which is narrated as an object to possess and master. While popular conceptions of the cybernetic posthuman imagine the body as merely a container for information and code."
** For example from the first link:
"Behind it all is...the implicit message that it is science, technology, and Hollywood magic — the Image Industry, the Spectacle — that enchants us and brings us what we really want. And they bring us new life, maybe eternal life, through the New Age science of neuro-energetics, gene-splicing, virtual-reality, and all the rest. ‘Jake Sully’ the Na’vi avatar (not the marine) is, after all, a zombie: his body is a remote-controlled, genetically-engineered robot."