Professor Lara Karaian

As a researcher, Professor Lara Karaian studies the intersections between sexuality, technology, representation, bodily experience, and legal regulation. This year, a $92,700 Insight Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) will assist her in expanding her research.

“This project examines the legal challenges posed by the next phase of the digital revolution. Sextech involving AI, VR and haptic technologies has spawned new sexual frontiers, relations, and subjectivities,” wrote Karaian, a faculty member in the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice. “However, there is no comprehensive and interdisciplinary consideration of how sextech alters our embodiment, intensifies our emotional and sensorial ways of knowing and being, and disrupts the socio-legal categories and hierarchies that underpin legal distinctions between licit and illicit sex.”

Karaian’s qualitative and interdisciplinary project, entitled “Sex/Crime in the Era of Immersive, Interactive, and Intelligent Technologies: A Study of Sextech, Affect, and Law” will examine legal and cultural narratives of—as well as first-person experiences with—sex robots, deepfake pornography, sex in virtual reality, and digi-sexuality.

Karaian hopes that “it will complicate our reliance on legal solutions to complex sexual relations and address social injustice stemming from the historical stigmatization and governance of non-normative sexual practices and minority identities.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in , ,
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