Institute for the Arts and Humanities

Skip to main content


Past Programs

Robot Weekend: Being Human Gizmos

This innovative IAH symposium, “Robot Weekend: Being Human Gizmos,” begins with the opening night performance of Anthony Clarvoe’s new play Gizmo, which is inspired by Karel Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) – the play that introduced the word "robot" (worker) for the first time. Then on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15 we’ll hold a series of conversations about the boundaries of the human, with regard to artificial intelligence, animals, disability, and bioethics. Topics will range from worms to zombies to the history of consciousness, so quite literally, there should be something for everyone. And at the center of the conference, at noon on Saturday, Anthony Clarvoe will lead a lunch session on his play, just before the 2:00 p.m. matinee. Come join us for a weekend of being humans and playing with robots!

The symposium is free and open to the public, but please register below. Tickets for Gizmo are available through the Penn State School of Theatre.


Registration is now closed. Please contact for more information.


April 13, 2012

Playhouse Theatre
7:00 p.m. – Premier of Gizmo, a new play by Anthony Clarvoe

April 14, 2012

119 Theatre Building

9:00 a.m. – Robots and Popular Culture

11:00 a.m. – Robots and Plays

12:30 p.m. – Lunch session with Anthony Clarvoe and roundtable discussion of Gizmo (114 Theatre Building)

2:00 p.m. – Rhetoric, History, and Animals

4:00 p.m. – Automata and the Noösphere

5:30 p.m. – Puppetry and Disability Performance with Laurencio Carlos Ruiz, theatre arts

April 15, 2012

119 Theatre Building

9:30 a.m. – Disability and the Boundaries of the Human

11:30 a.m. – Science Studies on the Planetary Scale

1:00 p.m. – Final remarks and lunch (114 Theatre Building)