English 2017 Study Guide - Final Guide: Captain America, Female Vampire, Whiz Comics

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
Western University
English 2017
***** MISSING WEEK 20 Science Fiction II (use printed slides)
Science Fiction III: Cyborgs
Robot, Android, Cyborg
Ex: Karel Čapek’s play R.U.R. *Rossum’s Universal Robots introduced the word “robot” into the
language (1920)
Terminator (James Cameron, 1978)
Ambivalence Regarding Technology
The machine as an image of pleasure and horror
o Pleasure:
freedom from labour, hardship, suffering
o Horror:
Devaluation of human nature
Loss of human agency in the world
Benign and Malevolent Forms of Artificial Life
Pleasure and horror manifest themselves
Ex: R2D2 and C3P0: “androids” from the Star Wars film series
Seven of Nine: a “Borg” from the Star Trek: Voyager TV series
Freud: “The Uncanny”
“ . . . the class of frightening things that leads us back to what is known and familiar”
Both familiar and alien
o Ex: dreams
o Something that seems right and familiar and something terrible
o Combination of the recognition of something similar
Technophobia: Mechanization and Alienation
The fear of “the thing with no consciousness” (e.g., Jason Vorhees, Michael Meyers)
“. . . modernity is constituted by its machines” (Marshall Berman, quoted by Jancovich, p. 6)
A fear experienced by modernity
What Does It Mean to be “Human”?
If we can make creatures increasingly like ourselves, what actually distinguishes us?
o “Can machines think?”
(Mathematician Alan Turing, 1950)
o The “Turing Test”
o Blade Runner: Deckard tests Rachael
Mechanization and Alienation in Terminator
Systems of identification and surveillance
o Telephone book, time-card, university I.D. card (Sarah Connor)
o Bar code (Kyle Reese)
Technology as obstacle or barrier
o Ginger Ventura’s Walkman
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o Telephone answering machine
Predictable human behaviour
o Ginger’s boyfriend’s seduction speech
o The Terminator’s ability to pass as a human being
Distinguishing Humanity in Terminator
Humanity defined by emotion and desire
Terminator 2:
o Sarah Connor’s rediscovery of her humanity
The re-assertion of “traditional” values (freedom, individualism, the family)
Beyond Technophobia?
Blade Runner: are the replicants so “human” as to be human
o Rachael a replicant who believes she’s human
o Roy Batty saves the life of his would-be executioner, Deckard
Compare the “Cylons” of Battlestar Galactica (SciFi Network, 2003-2009)
Horror I: Dracula
Horror as Genre
Basic narrative pattern: Order --> Disorder --> Restoration of Order
o Threatening to or conservative of the status quo?
Theories of Horror:
i. Psychological/Psychoanalytical
o Psychic functions of horror stories
What strange dark thing is in us that draws us to these types of stories?
o The return of the repressed (Freudian approach)
Type of genre that has a 'disgusted' response (which is its purpose)
Thrill of danger, without being in danger
ii. Sociological/Political
o Horror reflects prevailing conditions and ideologies
o The monster as embodiment of contemporary anxieties
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)
Freud's psychoanalytical theories prevalent in Dracula
Blood as Symbol
Blood in religious rites
o Notion of “lifeblood” and blood sacrifice
o Homer, Odyssey X
(journey into Hades)
o Blood in Christian rites
Polidori’s “The Vampyre” (1819)
“The Vampyre” and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1819)
Lord Ruthven
o “Byronic” figure
o Beautiful but scary man
The story: Ruthven, Aubrey & Miss Aubrey
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Ruthven as Vampire
Very human figure
o Lord Ruthven goes to parties etc.
o Mingles with fashionable society
Intimate friend of Aubrey’s
o Compare Dracula’s foreignness
Ruthven and vampire folklore
o Polidori's vampire is in mainstream vampire folklore
From Polidori to Stoker
James Malcolm Rymer, Varney the Vampire (1840s penny dreadful)
o Varney a tortured soul sympathetic figure
o Vampirism becomes infectious
o The stake appears!
• Sheridan LeFanu, Carmilla (1871)
o Female vampire
o Somewhat sympathetic figure
The countess is not malicious, but is compelled to feed off the blood of innocent victims
Stoker’s Vampire
Foreigner and stranger
o Us and them
“. . . our vampires are ourselves . . .” (Nina Auerbach, Our Vampires, Ourselves, 1995)
o What does this monstrous figure represent in the time period made
Dracula and late 19th-Century Britain
“Nineteenth-century up-to-date with a vengeance” (67)
o Seward’s phonograph
o Harker’s Kodak camera
o Mina’s typewriter
o Telegraph
o Telephone
o Blood transfusions
A novel that is consistent with modernity
Emphasis on Western modernity
Dracula’s Representation of Transylvania
Crossing from west to east
o Like a journey to that other place, what we are not
Jonathan’s voyage to Transylvania
o Emphasis on history, especially Medieval
East is a very primitive place that is untouched by modernity in the west
o No detailed maps
The place where Jonathan is going is not seen, incognito
o Quaint customs, dress
Travel books Jonathan used during his journey
o Folklore & superstition (e.g. St. George’s Night)
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Document Summary

***** missing week 20 science fiction ii (use printed slides) *rossum"s universal robots introduced the word robot into the language (1920) The machine as an image of pleasure and horror: pleasure: freedom from labour, hardship, suffering, horror: Ex: r2d2 and c3p0: androids from the star wars film series. Seven of nine: a borg from the star trek: voyager tv series. Freud: the uncanny the class of frightening things that leads us back to what is known and familiar . Both familiar and alien: ex: dreams, something that seems right and familiar and something terrible, combination of the recognition of something similar. The fear of the thing with no consciousness (e. g. , jason vorhees, michael meyers) A fear experienced by modernity modernity is constituted by its machines (marshall berman, quoted by jancovich, p. 6) Can machines think? (mathematician alan turing, 1950: the turing test , blade runner: deckard tests rachael.

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