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

By Patricia Melzer

Notwithstanding set in different worlds populated by way of alien beings, technology fiction is a website the place people can critique and re-imagine the paradigms that form this global, from basics resembling the intercourse and gender of the physique to international energy family members between sexes, races, and countries. Feminist thinkers and writers are more and more spotting technology fiction's strength to shatter patriarchal and heterosexual norms, whereas the creators of technological know-how fiction are bringing new intensity and complexity to the style by means 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 via Octavia E. Butler, Richard Calder, and Melissa Scott and the flicks "The Matrix" and the "Alien" sequence. Patricia Melzer analyzes how those authors and movies symbolize debates and ideas in 3 components of feminist concept: id and distinction, feminist evaluations of technology and know-how, and the connection between gender id, physique, and hope, together with the hot gender politics of queer wishes, transgender, and intersexed our bodies and identities. She demonstrates that key political components form those debates, together with international capitalism and exploitative classification family members inside a transforming into foreign approach; the effect of computing device, business, and clinical 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 present strength kinfolk - and that the alien buildings (cyborgs, clones, androids, extraterrestrial beings, and hybrids) that populate post-modern technological know-how fiction are as in all likelihood empowering as they're threatening.

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Additional resources for Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought

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The refigurations in cultural texts become part of a resistance that Sandoval defines as ‘‘meta-ideologizing,’’ ‘‘the operation of appropriating dominant ideological forms and using them whole in order to trans-form their meanings into a new, imposed, and revolu- 28 A LI E N C O N S T RU C T I ON S tionary concept’’ (Sandoval, ‘‘New Sciences’’ 410). Cultural texts provide the blueprints for the figurations, the reclaiming of metaphors and myths in their function of creating cultural semiotics, which can form the basis for naming progressive politics.

Models of cyborg identities (Donna Haraway) address the effects of specific systems of technology on our cultural and political identities. 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 conflicting narrative constellations are typical for Butler, who rejects a onedimensional understanding of complicated processes. Butler’s often troubling narrative contradictions derive from her engagement with several discourses: science fiction, black women’s writing, and anticolonial and feminist debates. Through her characters’ negotiations of power and her rewriting of cultural and religious myths, Butler addresses contemporary political issues linked to diaspora and anticolonial movements that are problematized in feminist debates.

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