Download Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought by Patricia Melzer PDF

By Patricia Melzer

Even though set in different worlds populated by means of alien beings, technology fiction is a website the place people can critique and re-imagine the paradigms that form this global, from basics corresponding to the intercourse and gender of the physique to worldwide energy family members between sexes, races, and international locations. Feminist thinkers and writers are more and more spotting technology fiction's strength to shatter patriarchal and heterosexual norms, whereas the creators of technology fiction are bringing new intensity and complexity to the style by way of attractive with feminist theories and politics. This booklet maps the intersection of feminism and technological know-how fiction via shut readings of technological know-how fiction literature by way of Octavia E. Butler, Richard Calder, and Melissa Scott and the films "The Matrix" and the "Alien" sequence. Patricia Melzer analyzes how those authors and flicks symbolize debates and ideas in 3 components of feminist inspiration: id and distinction, feminist evaluations of technological know-how and expertise, and the connection between gender identification, physique, and wish, together with the recent gender politics of queer wants, transgender, and intersexed our bodies and identities. She demonstrates that key political components form those debates, together with international capitalism and exploitative category kin inside a starting to be foreign process; the effect of computing device, business, and scientific applied sciences on women's lives and reproductive rights; and post-human embodiment as expressed via biotechnologies, the body/machine interface, and the commodification of hope. Melzer's research makes it transparent that feminist writings and readings of technological know-how fiction are a part of a feminist critique of latest strength kinfolk - and that the alien structures (cyborgs, clones, androids, extraterrestrial beings, and hybrids) that populate post-modern technology fiction are as in all likelihood empowering as they're threatening.

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Extra info for Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought

Example text

In Electronic Eros, Claudia Springer points out that an association between technology and violence is not new, and she reminds us that aggressive industrial technology impacts cultural imaginations (99). 29 These developments, in conjunction with the rapid commercialization of science and technology, have changed the implications of machines and their relationship to human subjectivity in fundamental ways. In relation to the effects of information technologies on women’s lives, two related but distinct discourses have developed within feminist theories: cyborg feminism (usually associated with Donna Haraway’s work) and cyberfeminism (often related to the philosophy of Sadie Plant).

Feminist theories of subjectivity are challenged and enhanced by queer theory’s emphasis on transgressive sexualities and by the emerging discourse on transgender and genderqueer identities. In all of these theories, the question of the construction of social categories such as gender, class, nationality, sexuality, and race are central. The negotiations of categories of sameness and difference play a crucial role in issues of global power relations, identity politics, and agency. These negotiations find complex representations in contem- I N TR O D U C TI O N 19 porary science fiction texts and their unfamiliar bodies and subjects, which challenge and reinvent the terms on which discourse relies.

In Nomadic Subjects, Braidotti advocates an approach to feminist subjectivity that is equally opposed to binary analyses. 22 This approach to subjectivity connects with Mae Gwendolyn Henderson’s notion of a simultaneity of discourses (147) in which black women write; it addresses the position of ‘‘speaking both to and from the position of the other(s)’’ (146). None of these theories account for identities and differences that are located between the binary concept of female/male. 23 An analysis of the ways in which sexualities contribute to the construction of identity is necessary in order to understand the subversive potential of women writers’ voices.

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