Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Next Steps

Anne Dalke's picture

We've had lots of different suggestions for what texts or films to schedule for our three open classes. Look through the possibilities others have mentioned (listed below, w/ details in individual postings). Then continue the conversation here: what intrigues you? What don't you know about that you'd like to explore together? What is already familiar to you, which might be worth re-interpreting through the lenses of this course? Do you have any preferences regarding the FORM--fiction? non-fiction? texts? films? other visual sources?

kgould: Jane McGonigle, Reality is Broken
preNic: Sherry Turkle, Together Alone
MissArcher2: Michael Chorost, World Wide Mind; Cinderella Ate My Daughter
leamirella: Jaron Lanier, You are not a Gadget;
theatre on the reinvention of the self
a film w/ a cyborg or part human/part animal: X-Men?
cara: Guy Deutscher, Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages; Max Brockman, What's Next: Dispatches on the Future of Science
tangerines: William Gibson, Neuromancer
aybala: Matthew Tobin Anderson, Feed
Riki: House of Leaves
ekthorp: Scott Westerfield, Uglies
HillaryG: Brave New World, The Matrix
vgaffney: Douglas Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach
HilaryB: Vera Chytilova's film Daisies
m.aghazarian: Futurama, Treasure Planet, Brave New World
Apo: Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul
J.Yoo: Satoshi Kon's film Paprika
rubikscube: film SourceCode
Franklin20: Aldus Huxley's Brave New World, Ray Bradbury's Farhrenheit 451 George Orwell's 1984
kelliott's films: Jean Luc-Godard, Alphaville; Blade Runner; Fritz Lang’s Metropolis; The Matrix; You’ve Got Mail; any of the James Bonds movies: Goldeneye, or Die Another Day
fawei: the dystopia novels suggested by Hillary G, kelliot and Franklin20



aybala50's picture


I would be most interested in either watching a movie...and I like the suggestions of the Matrix or X-Men. If that doesn't work out, I would LOVE to read House of Leaves. I read it before and it can be kind of a tough read, but I think we could do it. Also, if that doesn't work out, I also like the idea of reading Brave New World.  

Franklin20's picture


 I would be most interested in reading Brave New World and watching X-men.  For me, these suggestions are most interesting because I have already seen or read them before.  I would be interested in seeing how my perception of the book and the movie has changed given our current exploration of gender, technology and information.

Hillary G's picture


 I am most interested in the filmic aspect of these possibilities, because we've done quite a bit of reading non-fiction texts. I feel like the media of film has not been fully appreciated in our course (watching one film outside of class--Conceiving Ada--is not much for a Technology class). I also think there's merit to reading a work of fiction that we are already somewhat familiar with. I wish I had more creative suggestions but here they are:

Film: I'm thinking X-Men may actually be my first choice, followed by The Matrix. 

Fiction: Brave New World (although I think this would be interesting, I know part of the reason I'm choosing this novel is because I am familiar with it. But maybe having familiarity with the material can be beneficial to understanding it more deeply?) 

shin1068111's picture


I think the suggestion for some of the James Bond movies is great. As she mentioned two of the movies, Goldeneye and Die another day, have some interesting gender, science, and technology mixes. It will be very different from the movie we watched last time, conceiving Ada, even though they are somewhat similar in terms of the fact that you can find gender and technology in the theme of both movies.

cara's picture

I saw the movie Paprika a few

I saw the movie Paprika a few years ago, and I remember just mostly being really confused, so I would like to revisit this film and watch it for this class.

I think the House of Leaves would be interesting and unlike anything we've read before, but I'm also not sure how viable it would be for this class, as I have heard it can take a lot of time to piece through and decipher the book. I also liked the suggestion of Feed and Uglies, they both target a younger audience than anything we've read before, and offers a pretty different take on the intertwining of technology and humans than other works we've read. 

However I think out of the fiction books, as MissArcher2 suggested here, a novel by Octavia Butler, especially Fledgling, would be really interesting to read for this class.

rubikscube's picture


I would still be interested in seeing the film "Source Code" because I'd like to see what kind of science is behind the movie and how much of that is valid. I think it relates to "Conceiving Ada," and it could be interesting to talk about different way that people perceive computer science and technology. This film suggests that essentially anything is possible with computer science, and I'd like to see if people think that's true and why. A suggestion I really liked was to read Douglas Hofstadter's Goedel, Escher, Bach. In my cognitive science class last semester, my professor referenced the book several times, but we never had a chance to read it. 

vgaffney's picture


I think I’d be most interested to read one of the dystopian novels suggested my franklin20 and Hillary G. When I was thinking about what I would be interested to read/see I immediately thought of Brave New World. I’d like to be able to get the chance to read another novel for this class and think the dystopian novel in general would have a lot of interesting themes to contribute, particularly technological advancement and its corresponding social implications (including gender). I think a dystopian literary view of the future would be really interesting to read through the lens of this course.

tangerines's picture

 I'm seeing a general

 I'm seeing a general consensus that we should try one source from each form, fictional/filmic/non-fictional. My suggestions are:


Fiction: Brave New World, Feed, or 1984

Film: X-Men or the Matrix

Non-Fic: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

leamirella's picture


Okay, I'll admit, I have a little bit of a bias. I'm a fan of kelliot's suggestions because Jean-Luc Godard and Fritz Lang are some of my favorite directors. I think they'd be really interesting to look at but I feel that they could potentially be things that I could probably take more out of.

I talked to PhreNic about Sherry Turkle's new book and I also think that would be an interesting read and extremely relevant to the course.

As for a fictional piece, I agree with fawei.

J.Yoo's picture

Three Days of... what?

I have a bias towards films and fiction, I admit it, but some of the nonfiction that people suggested might look interesting through the course lens. I like m.aghazarian's idea about three difference mediums for three different days, so here are my suggestions:

Fiction: House of Leaves.  riki says it's very long, so maybe sections of it?

Nonfiction: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Film: Futurama

MissArcher2's picture

I can't resist...

 I'm sorry, I know the last thing we need is another suggestion, but I found this article and I thought the books looked really cool. They seem to combine sci-fi and gender in a way we haven't seen yet.!5781861/remembering-octavia-butler-scifi-pioneer

Also, some more background on Source Code, including Jake Gyllenhaal's perspective on the "science behind the movie"!5782291/jake-gyllenhaal-explains-how-g+force-training-influenced-the-science-in-source-code


MissArcher2's picture

Finding Our Own Way

 Thanks, m.aghazarian, for supporting my suggestions of World Wide Mind and/or Cinderella Ate My Daughter. I stand behind them as relevant choices for this class.

I'm also interested in Uglies, which I've heard of and always wanted to read. But I'm most excited about cara's suggestion of Through The Language Glass, which seems like a really interesting approach to the nature vs nurture debate, even seeming to blur the boundary of that binary. 

A note about the Jake Gyllenhaal movie Source Code: it's coming out on April 1. Class field trip? Then we could talk about it in class. 

Amophrast's picture

(informal) Field trip sounds

(informal) Field trip sounds like a kinda fun idea, and I would be up for that

Amophrast's picture

I'd really like to do

I'd really like to do something fictional or filmic, but I think in terms of balance over three days, one fictional work, a filmic work, and a nonfiction/theory work would be a great idea.

So, this is my input:

filmic--Source Code sounds really cool, but apparently it's not released yet..? Battle Angel Alita is a great manga series that has a two episode OVA (original video animation). Wikipedia overview: The series is set in the post-apocalyptic future and focuses on Alita, a cyborg who has lost all memories and is found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds and takes care of her. Paprika also sounds rather cool, along with Alphaville, Metropolis.

fiction--Brave New World, Uglies, Feed.

nonfiction--World Wide Mind, Cinderella Ate My Daughter.


Apocalipsis's picture

Great idea!

So I agree that we should watch a film, a fiction and a theory. Here are my deductions.

1. Film: Final Fantasy, the spirits within (A female scientist makes a last stand on Earth with the help of a ragtag team of soldiers against an invasion of alien phantoms) OR X-MEN Wolverine. 

2. Theory: Through the Language Glass

3. Fiction: Brave New World

Amophrast's picture

Also would totally be up to

Also would totally be up to watching Final Fantasy or Xmen

Amophrast's picture

Sliding in another suggestion

Before I forget, I want to also mention a cool book [that I mistakenly thought was written in the 80s, but the publishing date says 2001...) called Has Feminism Changed Science?. I read it (parts of it?) last year for a class and thought it was pretty interesting. What I generally remember from it though is not the content itself, but rather the conversations and discussions in provoked... just a thought.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
1 + 8 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.