SSHRC Project Lead

Teresa Heffernan is Professor of English at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the fall of 2022 she will commence a Research Fellowship at the Kate Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies at the University of Heidelberg. From 2019-2020 she was a Visiting Professor at the Ethics of AI Lab, Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto. She teaches courses in literary theory, the contemporary novel, modernism, postmodernism, short fiction, and travel writing. Her current area of research is on how the field of robotics and artificial intelligence is shaped by fiction. She is Series Editor (with Cathrine Hasse and Kathleen Richardson) for Palgrave MacMillan’s Social and Cultural Studies of Robots and AI. In that series she is editor of the forthcoming: Cyborg Futures: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. She is author of Post-Apocalyptic Culture: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Twentieth-Century Novel (University of Toronto Press, 2008/2012) and Veiled Figures: Women, Modernity, and the Spectres of Orientalism (University of Toronto Press, 2016). She is co-editor (with Daniel O’Quinn) of a critical edition of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s The Turkish Embassy Letters (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2012). She is series editor, with Reina Lewis, of Cultures in Dialogue developed with SSHRC research funding. She is co-editor (with Jill Didur) of a special issue of Cultural Studies entitled “Revisiting the Subaltern in the New Empire” and of a special issue of Cultural Critique (with Jill Didur and Bart Simon) on “Posthumanism.” Her articles have appeared in journals such as Studies in the Novel, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Arab Journal for the Humanities, Subject Matters, Canadian Literature, Twentieth Century Literature, English Studies in Africa, and Framework: Journal of Cinema and Media.

Research Assistants

Karen Asp is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, Toronto, where she is focusing on ideologies of the Anthropocene and critical theory. Following early-career training in creative writing and journalism, she has since acquired a BA in politics with a minor in cultural studies, and two Masters degrees, in geography (environmental studies) and in social and political thought (ecology/critical theory). She is Social Robot Future’s web designer and webmaster, and one of its bloggers. She also helped plan and coordinate the Cyborg Futures Workshop, as well as prepare the subsequent manuscript for publication.

Ellen Nantau is a licensed pharmacist who is presently working on an MA in the Women and Gender Studies Program at Saint Mary’s University. Her research involves the move towards integrating AI technologies into medicine (specifically patient care).

Alex Baker is an undergraduate student at Saint Mary’s University, majoring in philosophy, English and history. He helped compile the film and fiction bibliographies posted on this site, as well as annotating all of the associated entries.

Keif Godbout-Kinney is an MA student in the Women and Gender Studies Program at SMU where he is working on a thesis titled, “AI and Sex Robots: An Examination of the Technologization of Sexuality.” Keif helped annotate the “Nonfiction” bibliography on this website, and he assisted at the Cyborg Futures Workshop.

Bryn Shaffer is an MA student in the Women and Gender Studies Program at SMU where she is exploring the topics of gendered robot design in both science fiction and reality. She is developing a robo-centric form of gaze theory for her thesis. Bryn helped update and annotate the “Nonfiction” bibliography on this website.

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