DESIRING MACHINES: ROBOTS, MIMESIS, AND VIOLENCE IN THE AGE OF AI
An online meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion

July 7-10, 2021 - Hosted Virtually by Purdue University

Welcome to the 31st annual meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion. Founded in 1990, COV&R is an international association of scholars and practitioners devoted to exploring, critiquing, and developing the mimetic theory of René Girard. Girard’s ideas regarding imitative desire, sacrifice, scapegoating, and violence have been elaborated in literary studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, economics, film studies, political science, religious studies, Biblical studies, and, in general, all fields of the humanities and social sciences. In our conference this year, we would like to expand that body of thinking to examine aspects of the field of artificial intelligence and, in particular, robotics and self-awareness. We invite papers from all fields in which Girard’s insights have proved seminal but especially those that would explore some of the newer challenges posed by recent and ongoing technological innovations.

Raymund Schwager Memorial Essay Contest

To honor the memory of Raymund SCHWAGER, SJ, the Colloquium on Violence and Religion is offering an award of $1,500 shared by up to three persons for the three best papers given by graduate students at the online meeting of COV&R 2021 at Purdue University.

Welcome to the 31st annual meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion. Founded in 1990, COV&R is an international association of scholars and practitioners devoted to exploring, critiquing, and developing the mimetic theory of René Girard. Girard’s ideas regarding imitative desire, sacrifice, scapegoating, and violence have been elaborated in literary studies, anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, economics, film studies, political science, religious studies, Biblical studies, and, in general, all fields of the humanities and social sciences. In our conference this year, we would like to expand that body of thinking to examine aspects of the field of artificial intelligence and, in particular, robotics and self-awareness. We invite papers from all fields in which Girard’s insights have proved seminal but especially those that would explore some of the newer challenges posed by recent and ongoing technological innovations.Students presenting papers at the conference are invited to apply for the Raymund Schwager Memorial Award by sending a letter to that effect and the full text of their paper in an e-mail attachment to Nikolaus.Wandinger@uibk.ac.at and Sandor Goodhart at goodhart@purdue.edu, co-organizer of the COV&R 2021 meeting and chair of the three-person COV&R Awards Committee.

The paper should be in English, maximum length: 10 pages double-spaced (3,000 words). Because of blind review, the author's name should not be stated in the essay or in the title of the WORD file. Due date for submission is June 21. Winners will be announced in the conference program. Prize-winning essays should reflect an engagement with mimetic theory; they will be presented in a plenary session and be considered for publication in Contagion.