Patricia Melzer's Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought PDF

By Patricia Melzer

ISBN-10: 0292713061

ISBN-13: 9780292713062

Although set in different worlds populated through alien beings, technological know-how fiction is a website the place people can critique and re-imagine the paradigms that form this global, from basics reminiscent of the intercourse and gender of the physique to worldwide strength kinfolk between sexes, races, and international locations. Feminist thinkers and writers are more and more spotting technology fiction's power to shatter patriarchal and heterosexual norms, whereas the creators of technology fiction are bringing new intensity and complexity to the style by way of enticing with feminist theories and politics. This ebook maps the intersection of feminism and technology fiction via shut readings of technological know-how fiction literature via Octavia E. Butler, Richard Calder, and Melissa Scott and the films "The Matrix" and the "Alien" sequence. Patricia Melzer analyzes how those authors and movies signify debates and ideas in 3 parts of feminist proposal: id and distinction, feminist opinions of technology and expertise, and the connection between gender id, physique, and wish, together with the hot gender politics of queer wishes, transgender, and intersexed our bodies and identities. She demonstrates that key political parts form those debates, together with international capitalism and exploitative classification family inside of a transforming into overseas approach; the effect of desktop, commercial, 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 kin - and that the alien buildings (cyborgs, clones, androids, extraterrestrial beings, and hybrids) that populate post-modern technology fiction are as possibly empowering as they're threatening.

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As Judith Wajcman puts it in Feminism Confronts Technology, ‘‘Throughout these debates there has been a tension between the view that technology would liberate women—from unwanted pregnancy, from housework, and from rou- 20 A LI E N C ON S T RU C T I O N S tine paid work—and the obverse view that most new technologies are destructive and oppressive to women’’ (13). The debate revolves around the question of whether technology is controlled by a male-dominated establishment or is inherently misogynist and patriarchal.

Davies views black women’s writing as crucial for understanding how women negotiate identities in the context of migration and colonial displacement: ‘‘It is the convergence of multiple places and cultures that renegotiates the terms of Black women’s experience that in turn negotiates and re-negotiates their identities’’ (3). Davies argues that, while it is imperative to recognize a shared experience of geographical and/or cultural dislocation, the cultural identity of black women should be regarded as an instance of ‘‘migratory subjectivity’’ that resists the establishing and exclusion of the other:7 Black women’s writing .

So the cyborg is never an innocent figure, since there are no relations devoid of patriarchal and imperialist histories. As a partial subject, the cyborg resists cultural feminism’s anxieties around acknowledging difference (and power) between women, and instead points to the complex ways feminist subjectivities can develop. Cyborg feminism is at its most convincing when written in relation to feminist thought—and standpoint theory more specifically 35—that manages to speak of the socially constructed experiences of women as grounded in their material and historical relations (not their biological nature as ‘‘women’’).

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Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought by Patricia Melzer


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