“The idea of the autonomous robot disguises all the human labour behind it”: An Interview with Teresa Heffernan

Lizzie Wright spoke to Professor Teresa Heffernan about the relationship between robot fictions and real-life robots, the films Wall-E and Ex Machina, and the importance of remembering the materiality — and material cost — of technology. This is an edited extract of their conversation.

Teresa Heffernan is Professor of English Language and Literature at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS. She teaches courses in literary theory, critical posthumanism, feminist theory, and the novel. Her current area of research is on how the field of robotics and artificial intelligence is shaped by fiction.