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class notes 4/4

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Class notes 4/4/11

Dalke: Asking for input on papers. Seemed that some questions on panel were beneficial and led to interesting papers. Goal was to make conversation larger.

  • Asking questions of multiple people on the panel seemed to add more dynamic.
  • Maybe find a way to have less people on each panel?

Virtual Identities

  • Virtual identities are valuable and some feel more in control of their virtual identities.
  • Internet users need to realize connection between their real bodies and their virtual bodies.

First impressions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

·         Refeshing to read an actual book, materiality of the book was pleasurable.

·         Book was very different from the movie. More fair representation.

·         Interesting idea of cyborg as having real human emotions.


What would the other authors we have studied have to say?

·         Haraway/Roughgarden- Labeling the monster as human. Idea that we can label the monster as demonic but still has human traits and wants to be human, wants to be around other humans. Fits in with Haraway’s discussion of categorization. What is the gender or sexuality of the monster? Seems to be attracted to both males and females. Describes both men and women as “beautiful.”  Connection to Roughgarden’s discussion of sexuality and species.

·         Barad- Book explores how observor is part of the phenomenon and can’t assume they are separate from it. As a romantic novel, goal is to transcend to nature, be a part of it. People already are part of the natural world, entangled in it. (sidenote: shelley was married to Percy Shelley, a foremost romantic poet).

·         Roughgarden – Monster just wanted companion and victor was the one concerned about reproduction and fears it will lead to monstrous offspring. If concerned, why create two creations that would physically produce? Why not make a sterile creature? Creature implies it wishes to reproduce but never says directly.

·         In a very small gene pool there wouldn’t be much diversity. Don’t know what Shelley would think about only one or two members. Offspring would have to reproduce with one another. Would creature even know how to reproduce?

·         Idea of creature as the “every man” representing different parts of humanity.

·         What happens when we supercede natural creation process without consequences? Victor seen by some as a questionable authority.

·         Dallas and West – Surgery was necessary for them. People are horrified and can’t see past physical or ugly. Use novel as possible way to humanize people.

·         Idea of “no disordered bodies but disordered practices’

·         Parents could use novel as a model for anyone with cleft pallets and other physically altering conditions.

·         Turkel- how would creature represent self in a virtual world?

·         Victor performs version of himself through creature. Creature representations of himself and master. Nature/natural occurrence of death. Victor as performing through the creature.

·         Hayles- close reading and hyper reading come into play with codex form. Content is futuristic. What would happen if it were published today? In what way? Form?

·         So many skewed film versions, images set inside our minds. Hard to have what Shelley had in mind when she wrote this. \

·         Haraway/Clark- Debate over how much could creature count as cyborg if he was created usign human parts. Victor seems more cybernetic than creature. Distances self from science through getting sick, tries to escape.

·         Interesting idea of using biological parts to become a cyborg.

·         Tension within creature of needing technology to exist as cyborg but inner desire to be more human.






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