discussion 1838

For individual discussions, you will generally be required to post a response of at least 200 words to a topic of your choice. Each prompt includes introductory explanation plus several questions. Each topic response should focus on a relevant issue you wish to examine and should make a thoughtful, well-developed argument. Close reading and use of quotation is encouraged. Use parenthetical page or electronic location numbers for citation, ie. (148). Before responding to the prompts, read prior posts, especially any that have been highlighted by the instructor. If particular questions have already been answered satisfactorily, choose other questions to address. Strive to avoid producing repetitive responses; instead, try to bring something new to the conversation to keep it moving forward.

murderous machines

The queer, as defined in queer theory by philosophers like Eve Sedgwick and Judith Butler, is that which rejects normative behavior and challenges social structure. The queer disrupts fundamental social categories, blurs lines, and crosses boundaries. Homoeroticism is queer because it challenges heteronormativity and family structure. The queer disrupts the social economy because it is non-productive and non-reproductive; it embraces pleasure rather than work.

A cyborg (short of cybernetic organism) is a hybrid being with both organic and biomechanical body parts. A cyborg may have abilities beyond the normal human range. According to Donna Haraway in her famous “Cyborg Manifesto,” the cyborg is a disruptive boundary crosser, an illegitimate mix of human and machine, human and animal, or human and alien, an embodiment of a disturbing bestiality.The cyborg challenges such foundational philosophical diads as “self/other, mind/body, culture/nature, male/female, civilized/primitive, reality/appearance, whole/part, agent/re­source, maker/made, active/passive, right/wrong, truth/illusion, total/partial, God/man.”

Like Frankenstein’s monster and Deidre in “No Woman Born,” the Replicants in Blade Runner are born of a man (that is, created by a scientist). How does replication differ from normal (human) reproduction? In what ways do the Replicants challenge heterosexual normaitivity, which assumes a heterosexual reproductive couple as the foundation of familial relations? How do the Replicants relate to their “father”? Why are they so disturbed by their mortality? What makes these cyborgs queer?

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