We have an event at Gloucester in a couple of weeks, for which I have written the following spiel.
Technology, innocence and experience: Walter Benjamin on ‘the child’ and play
This presentation will introduce the work of Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) as a way of exploring concerns about technology, innocence and authenticity in childhood and children’s play. For Benjamin, the figure of ‘the child’ was a recurrent and ambiguous theme in his critical cultural theory and philosophy, representing elements of both a Romantic yearning for lost innocence but also a hope for a materially better future. Against the contemporary moral panics about children’s use of certain toys and technologies, this presentation will explore how technologies of touch, vision, creativity and lived experience can be understood as vital and beneficial aspects of children’s play for a ‘posthuman’ 21st century.
Now just need to write the paper/presentation.