Group Project Assignment

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ENG 670: WEEK FIVE
Media Ecologies +
Cyberpunk’s Landscape
FOR NEXT WEEK
 Submit research essay prospectus (by 2/12)
 Read AR Ammons “Garbage” & Buell’s “Toxic
Discourse”
 View Toxic & Burtynsky photographs
TOPICS
 Group projects
 Research essay
 Neuromancer Discussion, part 2
Cyberspace, “The meat,” and the place of nature
Group Project Assignment
“The focus of this digital humanities experiment is on the design of
the project, rather than on the completeness or perfection of its
execution. You will be evaluated on how well you collaborate, involve
each member of the group, outline your research question and
methodology, and “test out” an alternative methodology for the
literary analysis of an environmental question or problem.”
Feb. 1st: Research question + methodology posted on blog
Feb. 15th: Progress report in class
March 1st: “Final” project uploaded to blog
Group Projects
Mash-up of
“Garbage”
Kate
Rob
Ashley
Christy
Tag Crowd
Of Neuromancer
Parker
Veronica
Pam
Sarah
Mapping
“The Hungry
Tide”
Taylor
Amanda
Stephen
Crystine
Tag Clouds
Neuromancer +
Political Rhetoric
Sam
Martina
TJ & Andrew
Research Essay
“Write a research essay of 15 pages, double-spaced that draws on 10
secondary sources and demonstrates a sustained analysis with at least
2 primary texts. The primary texts are your primary objects of
analysis/inquiry; they can take the form of poetry, drama, fiction,
epoetry/efiction, film, new media narrative or art, music / audio
recordings, etc. You should bring to your primary sources both your
prior training as a literary critic as well as any new method(s) of
analysis/research you’d like to test out and further develop.
The main requirement is that you craft a topic that relates to one of
our course questions…”
Neuromancer: Discussion Threads
 Geographies: Urban / outer / cyber spaces
The end of nature? The trouble with wilderness?
 “The meat”: Embodiment, materiality + the
environmental upshot of posthumanism
2. Geographies: Urban / outer / cyber space
“The sheer material expansiveness of the metropolis,
which in Neuromancer extends even into the extraterrestrial orbit of Freeside [. . .] is matched in another
sense by the ubiquity of urban experience. It is this that
[Fredric] Jameson has in mind when he remarks upon the
complementary ‘disappearance of Nature.’” (Myers 890)
- Tony Myers, “The Postmodern Imaginary in Neuromancer,” MFS
(2001)
Hayles on the matrix / Haraway on the cyborg
“Cyberspace is created by transforming a data matrix into a
landscape in which narratives can happen [….] data are
humanized, and subjectivity is computerized.” - Hayles, How
We Became Posthuman
“A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and
organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of
fiction. [….] Contemporary science fiction is full of cyborgs creatures simultaneously animal and machine, who populate
worlds ambiguously natural and crafted.”-Haraway, “The Cyborg
Manifesto”
3. “The meat”: Embodiment / Virtuality /
Posthumanism
“The posthuman implies not only a coupling with intelligent
machines but a coupling so intense and multifaceted that it is no
longer possible to distinguish meaningfully between the
biological organism and the informational circuits in which the
organism is enmeshed.”
-Hayles, How We Became Posthuman
Posthuman bodies / ecologies?
“Much work in the field of ecocriticism, established in American
literary studies during the 1990s, assumes that the natural world
is endangered, and that some of the human activities that
threaten nature also put human health and life at risk. [...] My
argument focuses on a particular type of risk—exposure to
chemical substances [...] This focus allows me to foreground how
my argument builds upon Buell's earlier analyses of toxic
discourse but also how contemporary novelists use chemical
substances as a trope for the blurring of boundaries between
body and environment, public and domestic space, and harmful
and beneficial technologies.”
-Heise, “Toxins, Drugs + Global Systems”
HRP-4C Fembot, Industrial Technology Research Inst.
Blade Runner poster (1982)
Adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s
1968 novel, Do Androids Dream
of Electric Sheep?
The Novel Schematized
Geographies
The sprawl
Tokyo (Chiba – Ninsei)
Freeside / Zion
Villa Straylight
Cyberspace
The matrix
Technologies
Decks
Prostheses
Nerve slicing
Eye replacements
Polycarbon suits
Simstim
Sense / Net
ICE/ icebreaker
Characters
Case, Molly (razor girl), Armitage/Colonel Corto,
Peter Riviera, Julius Deane, Linda Lee, The Finn,
Maelcum, Dixie Flatline/McCoy Pauley, Panther
Moderns, Lady 3Jane / Marie-France TessierAshpool, Wintermute AI, Neuromancer AI
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