Computer technology and culture of dying

Project description

The starting point of this project is the assumption of an increasing technologisation of human existence in which the definition of dying as a procedural element of life and the definition of life after death (at least in the memory and the media) are progressively and dramatically relying on use and application of techniques, and are by this changing their meaning. It is about a dual hybridization of human existence: First, people use and incorporate medical technology; second, people make use of computer technologies and media technologies to "excorporate" personal information and personal characteristics for preservation purposes and to virtually recreate part of their personality (online identities, avatars). These developments offer entry points for digital immortality strategies, which are still poorly understood, and the importance of which as an element of cultural change has not yet been recognized.

Three institutes of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the merger of Karlsruhe University (TH) and Research Center Karlsruhe, have joined forces for the project "Computer technology and culture of dying" to address the subject in an interdisciplinary way. The project is funded by KIT to promote cooperation of institutes from the South Campus (formerly University of Karlsruhe) and the North Campus (formerly the Research Center Karlsruhe) and to encourage longer-term co-operation and common projects.

The procedure includes joint planning, preparation and implementation of an interdisciplinary workshop.

The project will be completed with the publication of the following book:

Knud Böhle, Jochen Berendes, Mathias Gutmann, Caroline Robertson-von Trotha, Constanze Scherz (Eds.) (2013)
Computertechnik und Sterbekultur. Vol. 5 of the series "Hermeneutics and Anthropology" ed. by Andrea Marlen Esser und Mathias Gutmann. Berlin, Münster, Wien, Zürich, London: LIT Verlag


Journal Articles
Böhle, K.; Pfadenhauer, M.
Social robots call for social sciences
2014. Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, 10 (1), 3–10 
Conference Papers
Böhle, K.; Berendes, J.; Gutmann, M.; Robertson-von Trotha, C.; Scherz, C.
Sterben und kein Ende. Einige Vorbemerkungen
2014. Computertechnik und Sterbekultur. Hrsg.: K. Böhle, 1–13, LIT 
Heil, R.; Coenen, C.
Transhumanistische Visionen und Computertechnik
2014. Computertechnik und Sterbekultur. Hrsg.: K. Böhle, 145–159, LIT Verlag 
Wiegerling, K.
Embodied computing: Digitale Leiber und neue Körper
2014. Computertechnik und Sterbekultur. Hrsg.: K. Böhle, 231–245, LIT Verlag 
Conference Proceedings
Böhle, K.; Berendes, J.; Gutmann, M.; Robertson-von Trotha, C.; Scherz, C.
Computertechnik und Sterbekultur
2014. LIT Verlag 


Dipl.-Soz. Knud Böhle, M.A.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe