LECTURE 4 Feb 1
Test 1 information
A feminist reading of neuromancer
Technoscience, the body, and identity
Artificiality and imitation
Case, and the return to/of the body
Test 1 info:
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A feminist reading of william gibson's neuromancer by TA lisa.
Ideas of mergings, interfacings, integrations between body and technology; i.e.
cyborgs, hybrids, posthumans; "jacking in" to the "matrix'
Artificial intelligences and other sentient
Questions to consider:
What sociocultural, ideological norms is the novels challenging
How is the novel's cognitive estrangement subversive
A look at donna haraway's "a cyborg manifesto" and molly as a character
"a cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism.. Creatures
simultaneously and organism.. Creatures simultaneusly animal and machine
Blends the organic and the machine. A robot with a downloaded human
consciousness to a human being with cyborg and technological parts. A
cyborg blurs that line between a machine and an organism
Exists in science fiction, modern medicine, modern production
How does haraway use this project in a way for thinking about gender?
The cyborg is a creature in a post gender world.
By blurring the binaries between human and machine.
Our way of thinking is dualistic. We think in binary/opposite pairs.
Basic western organis, hierarchical/dualism: eg. Mind/body, human/animal/,
Everything on the left is PRIVILEDGED AND CONSIDERED MALE
And everything on the right is weak and FEMALE
She argues that the cyborg blurs boundary between machine and human, and this
could lead o a collaspe of all those binaries. If we can dissolve the barriers between
organism and machine, she fears that all of these can be dissolved.
She's arguing for a new cyborg world called the "informatics of domination"
Informatics of domination:
Realism --> science fiction
Physiology --> communications engineering
Reproduction --> replication
Everything on the left hand side from realism down is going to shift
She argues that cyborg worlds will change something like reproduction will
move to replication.
Something like organic sex role specialization will turn to optimal genetic
Dissolving of the family structure
Dissolving of the origin story.
Rats - prosthetic limbs
Wage's vat grown eyes and muscle grafted goons
Case' abilities to jack in to the "net"
Molly: set mirros leneses, scalpel blades, beneath her nails, readout chip in her optic
Gibson goes through great lengths.
Does molly, as a cyborg woman character, fulfill haraway's predictions?
She had to engage in feminine sexual activity to be a cyborg.
Sim switch concept of case, a man, invading the mind of a woman is
masculine invading feminine mind. Male is validating female opinions. She's
not the one giving her thoughts, it's case
Negative view that prostitution is always bad.
They present her as a sexual being RIGHT away. It presents a vixon
She IS the muscle of the team tho..
Injured molly is carried out by an injured man at the end.
She had to be severely physically altered to be a STRONG character tho.
Her primary weapon are her nails. It's very typically female. Two sides: she's the muscle, but that strength is accompanied by many
Molly is very eroticized. She is tied to the idea of Meat. In the binaries, she always
Case fell into the prison of his own flesh. Not only is molly fleshly. Molly stays firmly
within the realm of the body. In a lot of ways, while molly a cyborg, she's not a
harraway vision of a cyborg.
Many critics agree that there's a radical duality between the mind and the body, in
which the former is privileged over the latter. Denied an active role in cyberspace.
Molly never entes the matrix, she is meat, but she does have an experience that is
"I wasn't conscious, it's like cyberspace, but blank"
The only way we get described where molly gets something like
cyberspace isn't filled and vibrant like cases's experience of the
matrix, it's blank, it's not coming from a empowering action, but
simply leaving her body.
"The Doll" (p 138 - 141)
We have a portray of molly's body that isn't molly's body.
The man builds the woman, but his destruction