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Øvrige

Christina Leeson defends her PhD thesis at the Department of Anthropology

Øvrige — University of Copenhagen, the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Faculty Library of Social Sciences, Gothersgade 140, Audit. 1, 1353 Copenhagen K.

Info

Date & Time:

Place:
University of Copenhagen, the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Faculty Library of Social Sciences, Gothersgade 140, Audit. 1, 1353 Copenhagen K.

Hosted by:
University of Copenhagen, the Faculty of Social Sciences

Cost:
Free

Candidate

Christina Leeson

Title

“Anthropomorphic Robots on the Move. A Transformative Trajectory from Japan to Danish Healthcare”. ”. A copy of the the dissertation is available for reading at the department, please contact Vicki Antosz, room 16.1.50.

Time and venue

Wednesday 1 February 2017 at 14:00. University of Copenhagen, the Faculty of Social Sciences, The Faculty Library of Social Sciences, Gothersgade 140, Audit. 1, 1353 Copenhagen K. Kindly note that the defence will start precisely at the announced time. The Department of Anthropology will host a reception after the defence at the CSS Campus (Centre for Health and Society), Øster Farimagsgade 5, in building 33, room 33.1.19.

Assessment committee

• Professor Morten Axel Pedersen, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen (chair)

• Professor Cathrine Hasse, Aarhus University

• Professor Jennifer Robertson, University of Michigan, USA

Abstract

The Social Life of Robots. The dissertation explores the social life of an anthropomorphic Japanese-designed robot named Telenoid. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Japan and Denmark, it traces how the making, distribution and deployment of Telenoid unfold as the robot transcends its Japanese laboratory to be adapted for use in a Danish nursing home and activity centre for developmentally disabled people.

The dissertation empirically describes how the connection between making, distribution and deployment of Telenoid is not always balanced out in a linear process. Rather, the dissertation proposes that as the robot moves between sites, its meaning and purpose are constantly re-shaped and transformed into various forms in relation to specific social, material and discursive practices through which the robot and its material and imaginary affordances are brought into being. Dual nature In an effort to trace the ways in which Telenoid continously becomes harnessed to new visions and matters of concern along its trajectory, Christina Leeson examines and analyses how various social and affective relations are simultaneously formed and transformed around the robot. In doing so, the dissertation empirically describes how anthropomorphic robots come to possess a dual nature as they oscillate between human and non-human, enchanting and disaffecting, cute and spooky, cold and warm. Building on this insight, Christina Leeson concludes that Telenoid’s dual nature exemplifies how the agentive capacity of robots is a result not simply of the technology itself. Rather than working, or for that matter failing, in itself, robots depend on the skill, knowledge and not least shifting degrees of support and dedication from the people using them.

Upcoming