By Patricia Melzer
Even though 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 resembling the intercourse and gender of the physique to worldwide energy kinfolk between sexes, races, and international locations. Feminist thinkers and writers are more and more spotting technological know-how 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 through attractive with feminist theories and politics. This publication maps the intersection of feminism and technological know-how fiction via shut readings of technology fiction literature by way of 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 characterize debates and ideas in 3 parts of feminist idea: identification and distinction, feminist reviews of technological know-how and expertise, and the connection between gender id, physique, and hope, together with the recent gender politics of queer wishes, transgender, and intersexed our bodies and identities. She demonstrates that key political parts form those debates, together with worldwide capitalism and exploitative classification family inside a starting to be overseas method; the effect of machine, 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 wish. Melzer's research makes it transparent that feminist writings and readings of technology fiction are a part of a feminist critique of current energy kinfolk - and that the alien buildings (cyborgs, clones, androids, extraterrestrial beings, and hybrids) that populate post-modern technological know-how fiction are as very likely empowering as they're threatening.
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Extra info for Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought
Even though the chapters are separate analyses of speciﬁc cultural texts, they are all connected through the general aim to critically examine science ﬁction’s radical potential to illuminate issues within feminist theories. Part I constitutes a close analysis of Octavia E. Butler’s writing, in which notions of identity and diﬀerence are central. An extensive analysis of her work, which reaches a broad popular audience and inspires intense academic feminist debates, will illustrate how her narratives echo issues in feminist postmodern theories.
In her theorizing, Haraway has been directly inspired by the writing of science ﬁction author Octavia E. Butler, and in general she approaches ‘‘science ﬁction [as] political theory’’ (Haraway, How Like a Leaf 120). This acknowledgment of theory within (science) ﬁction is one of the most valuable contributions of cyborg feminism. ’’ She directly links the economic exploitation of women (especially of women of color) to high technology, while situating both resistance and pleasure in close proximity to technology.
One of cyborg feminism’s main concerns is the embodiment of interrelations of technoscience. The cyborg and related ﬁgures are understood to be material ﬁctions within a system of domination, and their bodies simultaneously represent and create cultural meaning. The female body is always seen in an ambivalent relationship to technology and the power discourses involved—the feminist cyborg metaphor is fully aware of Foucault’s bio-power, which shapes and marks bodies. Thus the cyborg as an empowering political identity is critically revisited by Anne Balsamo, who, in Technologies of the Gendered Body (1996), examines how the body is simultaneously material and produced by discursive technologies, and how a postmodern reconstruction of bodies often reproduces notions and structures of sexual diﬀerence.