Hey, Where’s My Robot Girlfriend?
                                is coming to SXSW 2013!                                

                           For more information, click here.

Bio

A recent transplant to San Francisco, Laura G. Duncan is a researcher, public speaker and current medical student in an MD/PhD program. Her research focuses on issues of stigma and inequity within healthcare and the social impact of health technologies.

For the past four years, Laura has been performing the multimedia lecture Hey, Where’s My Robot Girlfriend? about the intersection of technology, health and sexuality in venues across the country. A featured speaker at South by Southwest Interactive in March 2013, Laura and these lectures have been featured on the cover of Time Out New York, as well as by The Village Voice, New York Magazine, HuffPost Live and a variety of podcasts and radio shows. 

Currently in medical school pursuing joint MD/PhD in Medical Anthropology degrees, Laura has also worked as a sexual health educator for a variety of organizations and recently coordinated a clinical anthropological study of addiction treatment. She is also a full-spectrum doula providing support for all pregnancy outcomes with The Doula Project and served as a founding organizer of the Persist Health Project.

She is the proud owner of one handmade Star Trek uniform, a collection of vintage cameras and a stack of 1920’s anatomical drawings.

If you’d like to chat, book a presentation, ask questions or write more in the awkward third person, please feel free to contact!

SXSW 2013

Hey, Where’s My Robot Girlfriend? is coming to SXSW!

Monday March 11th, 12:30-1:30pm, Hilton Austin Downtown Salon FGH

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Get a taste of what this talk will entail with some robot girlfriend media.

Event Description

Hybrids of sex and technology are flourishing in contemporary culture, from basement workshops where power tools are repurposed as bedroom aids to media genres devoted to robot-human couplings. The mechanical in service of the libidinal is rooted deeply in our cultural consciousness through the robot girlfriends of science fiction and real-world teledildonics projects.

Actual and imagined sexual technologies provide an unexpectedly cognizant perspective on the future of health and sexuality. Medical interest in sexuality is undergoing a renaissance with tech that seems straight out of sci-fi, from arousal-enhancing pharmaceuticals to orgasmic implants. What might this medical technology learn from its more explicitly carnal brethren though? 

With examples from science fiction, the medical sciences and actual sexual robotics projects, this entertaining and educational talk will explore the social impact of sexual health technologies as they become ever more integrated into our lives.

Photo by Rebecca Wilkowski

media
  • Geeks Guide to the Galaxy podcast for Wired.com - GGG#73: Interview with Cory Doctorow and panel on Sex in Science Fiction
  • AOL’s Lemondrop.com - Meet Roxxxy: "Come on, you didn’t really think that high IQ translates into low sex drive, did you? New York City–based Laura G. Duncan doesn’t either."
  • Time Out New York: Own This City: “C-3PO started the sexual revolution among robots, getting greased up in Luke’s garage; now Avatar has taken tech-sex to another level. Sexual health researcher Laura G. Duncan will touch on this topic.”
  • Daily Candy: "Carnally inclined authors (memoirist Elizabeth Bard, sexual health researcher Laura G. Duncan) share jaw-dropping tales"
  • … and sometimes photographs: Press photos for the Brooklyn indie-pop band overlord
Upcoming Events
  • SXSWI 2013. Featured speaker. Monday March 11th, 12:30-1:30pm. Hilton Austin Downtown Salon FGH.
  • Arse Elektronica 2011 San Francisco, CA. Saturday October 2nd. “Hacking Health: Queer Machines, Ideal Bodies and What Medicine Can Learn From Sex/Tech”
  • Hey, Where’s My (Queer!) Robot Girlfriend? A Workgroup on Queering Sexual Technology with The Queer Commons. Wednesday July 20th. See website for location and (optional) reading assignments.

***Note: Due to popular demand, a SECOND DATE has been added for this lecture on Friday March 25th. Same time, same place.

  • QuORUM Forum 2011 (Queers Organizing for Radical Unity and Mobilization): “Queer Your Health: A Workshop and Open Discussion on Sexual Health Care for Queers.” January 17th in Kensington Brooklyn, NY.

  • The Red Umbrella Diaries: Healing Touch night. October 7th 2010 at Happy Ending Lounge, NYC.
Sample Event Description

Hey, Where’s My Robot Girlfriend? An Exploration of Sexual Robotics, Teledildonics and Carnal Technology

The robotic bride. The orgasm ray. The sex machine.

These classic tropes of science fiction – how fictitious are they really?

Hybrids of sex and technology are flourishing in contemporary culture, from basement workshops where power tools are lovingly repurposed into bedroom aids to media devoted solely to robot-human couplings. The medical sciences have even gotten in on the act with models of sperm-inspired nanobots.

Technology and sexuality have long been intimately connected, each inspiring innovation in the other and nowhere is this more striking than in the fields of teledildonics (computer-interfaced sex toys) and sexual robotics. The mechanical in service of the libidinal is rooted deeply in our cultural consciousness.

So just how close are we to having a real life Data, the beloved android from Star Trek as fawning partner to our eminently human Tasha Yar? Will we be able to disable our foes with weaponized orgasms? Can you learn to love a robot? Can a robot learn to love you?

Join researcher Laura G. Duncan for an educational and entertaining multimedia lecture on sexual technology to find out. With examples from popular media, the medical sciences and actual sexual robotics projects, this talk will work to explode the dichotomy between the “natural” and the “technological” and open a critical analysis of how society conceptualizes sexuality, science and even the body itself.