What's the Critique of Cyberpunk? American Studies 282 Rutgers University Prof. Cornelius Collins Spring 2011
Gender in Gibson <ul><li>Rikki, Molly, Linda Lee </li><ul><li>Dualism: &quot;Meat&quot; or mercenary </li><ul><li>Signs of...
Resistance is futile? <ul><li>Resistance, accommodation, or complicity? </li><ul><li>Fetishization of brands
&quot;Embrace of technology&quot; (Nixon)
Corporate power is not shaken
Heroes part of the system and profit by their mastery of it
Opposition as style: &quot;borrowed authenticity from punk rock&quot; </li></ul></ul>
USA! USA! USA! <ul><li>American individualism vs.  Japanese corporatism
Nixon: &quot;in a relentlessly capitalist future, American heroism can be rearticulated&quot;: entrepreneurial, ingenious,...
Outlaw ... cowboy ... maverick </li></ul>
 
 
 
 
&quot;A Manifesto for Cyborgs&quot; <ul><li>Donna Haraway, 1985
Scholarly essay
Manifesto: a movement's declaration of principles  </li><ul><li>Compare Sterling's preface </li></ul></ul>
Modern myth (& postmodern) <ul><li>Haraway: Dream of alternative myth, &quot;an imaginative resource&quot;
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Cyberpunk critique pres

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Cyberpunk critique pres

  1. 1. What's the Critique of Cyberpunk? American Studies 282 Rutgers University Prof. Cornelius Collins Spring 2011
  2. 2. Gender in Gibson <ul><li>Rikki, Molly, Linda Lee </li><ul><li>Dualism: &quot;Meat&quot; or mercenary </li><ul><li>Signs of correction in Mona Lisa Overdrive </li></ul><li>Exceptions? </li><ul><li>3Jane? Wintermute and Neuromancer as genderless Ais? </li><ul><li>But matrix figured as feminine: dark and secret </li></ul></ul><li>Gender assumptions unchanged </li><ul><li>&quot;Feminist power as the threat of the future&quot; (Rob Nixon) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Resistance is futile? <ul><li>Resistance, accommodation, or complicity? </li><ul><li>Fetishization of brands
  4. 4. &quot;Embrace of technology&quot; (Nixon)
  5. 5. Corporate power is not shaken
  6. 6. Heroes part of the system and profit by their mastery of it
  7. 7. Opposition as style: &quot;borrowed authenticity from punk rock&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. USA! USA! USA! <ul><li>American individualism vs. Japanese corporatism
  9. 9. Nixon: &quot;in a relentlessly capitalist future, American heroism can be rearticulated&quot;: entrepreneurial, ingenious, upwardly mobile
  10. 10. Outlaw ... cowboy ... maverick </li></ul>
  11. 15. &quot;A Manifesto for Cyborgs&quot; <ul><li>Donna Haraway, 1985
  12. 16. Scholarly essay
  13. 17. Manifesto: a movement's declaration of principles </li><ul><li>Compare Sterling's preface </li></ul></ul>
  14. 18. Modern myth (& postmodern) <ul><li>Haraway: Dream of alternative myth, &quot;an imaginative resource&quot;
  15. 19. Myths -- not pre-scientific, outdated explanations of the world, but descriptions of cultural values </li></ul>
  16. 20. Modern culture's dualisms <ul><li>feminine masculine
  17. 21. nature culture
  18. 22. private public
  19. 23. emotion rationality
  20. 24. savage civilized
  21. 25. other self
  22. 26. dark light </li></ul>
  23. 27. Beyond the boundaries <ul><li>Haraway's 3 boundary breakdowns (193-95) </li><ul><li>between human and animal </li></ul><ul><li>between animal-human (organism) and machine </li></ul><ul><li>between physical and nonphysical </li></ul></ul>
  24. 28. We are all cyborgs now <ul><li>&quot;a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction&quot; (191)
  25. 29. &quot;We cannot go back ideologically or materially&quot; (204) </li></ul>
  26. 30. Science fiction is reality <ul><li>Science fiction is reality </li><ul><li>Medicine: our bodies -- hybrid (191)
  27. 31. Work: our labor -- mobile, global (195)
  28. 32. War: our violence -- virtual (206) </li></ul><li>&quot;The machine is us&quot; (222) </li></ul>
  29. 33. Irony and subversion <ul><li>Cyborg: &quot;offspring&quot; of militarism, patriarchy, and capitalism (193) Cyborg politics becomes struggle against perfect communication and code (218) </li></ul>
  30. 34. &quot;Progress&quot;? <ul><li>No origin, no fall
  31. 35. No salvation, no apocalypse
  32. 36. Release from unity, teleology, escalation, domination, guilt, innocence (192, 199, 217) </li></ul>
  33. 37. Postmodernity <ul><li>&quot;the night dream of post industrial society&quot; (195)
  34. 38. When capitialism's traditional mode of accumulation reaches its limit and shifts to a &quot;more flexible&quot; mode (David Harvey) </li></ul>
  35. 39. What is &quot;late capitalism&quot;? <ul><li>Early capitalism: mercantile
  36. 40. High capitalism: industrial
  37. 41. Late capitalism: financial </li></ul>

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