September 1, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Gawande Speaker | I, Robot: Self and No-Self in Ancient Indian Android Tales, Sept. 27

"I, Robot: Self and No-Self in Ancient Indian Android Tales"

The Friends of India Endowment and the Gawande Speaker Series in Indian Religion and Philosophy present Dr. Signe Cohen discussing “I, Robot: Self and No-Self in Ancient Indian Android Tales” on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Gordy Hall 104.

Cohen is Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Missouri.

In contrast to the rich scholarly literature on the philosophical and ethical issues surrounding androids and cyborgs in Western literature, there is very little written to date about comparable robot tales from Asia. To correct that imbalance, this lecture is situated at the intersection of the larger debate surrounding self, personhood, and humanity in Hinduism and Buddhism and the emerging field of bioethics in South Asian religions, demonstrating that the ideas expressed in ancient Asian texts are still highly relevant to modern ethical debates.

Cohen’s research interests are Hinduism and South Asian Buddhism, working with original Hindu and Buddhist texts in Sanskrit and in other ancient Asian languages, such as Pali, Prakrits, Tibetan, and Tocharian. Her course offerings include “Christianity in India,” “Gods, Dwarves, and Dragons: Introduction to Norse Mythology,” and “Harry Potter, Magic and Religion.” Her latest book, The Upaniṣads: A Complete Guide, was published by Routledge in 2018.

For more information, contact Dr. Brian Collins, Associate Professor and the Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy at Ohio University, at

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