This article provides a reading of gender politics in cyberpunk, drawing upon the Gothic, the cyborg and the (post)feminist subject. This reading is effected through an account of the ass-kicking techno-babe, a crucial component of the masculine strand of cyberpunk which valorises a masculinity and technology dialectic and draws upon film noir, with its hardboiled detectives and monstrous femmes fatales. From Molly Million‘s in Neuromancer to Y.T. in Neal Stephenson‘s Snow Crash (1992) and Trinity in Andy and Larry Wachowski‘s Matrix trilogy (1999–2003), this figure of the femme fatale demonstrates that the (post)feminist project of the ass-kicking techno-babe has found a home in the Gothic aesthetics of the noir-inf(l)ected genre of cyberpunk. The account of how hyper-sexualised cyborgic female bodies are positioned in contrast with the repressed bodies of male hackers reveals the destabilising conundrum of supposed agency contained by the determinacy of the (post)feminist body.
mechanical life. The demise of the poet staged here is a necessary
transition to a cyborg human. After the crash, in real life, Marinetti’s transport needs
were taken care of by a professional chauffeur. Behind his macho posturing, Marinetti
remained reluctant to operate machines in person. In Figure 2.1, portraying Marinetti
astride an agricultural machine, the stiff stance and stunned expression of the sitter
betray lack of confidence, suspicion and alarm.
12 A. M. Ludovici, ‘The Italian futurists and their traditionalism’, Oxford and Cambridge Review, July 1912,
In the full-length treatment of the child in Spanish cinema, this book explores the ways that the cinematic child comes to represent 'prosthetic memory'. The cinematic children in the book retain traces of their mechanical origins: thus they are dolls, ventriloquists' dummies, cyborgs or automata. Moreover, by developing the monstrous undertones evoked by these mechanical traces (cinema such as 'Frankensteinian dream'), these films, in different ways, return repeatedly to a central motif. The central motif is the child's confrontation with a monster and, derivatively, the theme of the monstrous child. Through their obsessive recreation over time, the themes of the child and the monster and the monstrous child come to stand in metonymically for the confrontation of the self with the horrors of Spain's recent past. The book focuses on the cine religioso (religious cinema), in particular, Marcelino, pan y vino. The children of cine religioso appear like automata, programmed to love unconditionally an absent mother. The book then examines the Marisol's films from the 1960s and the way she was groomed by her creators to respond and engineer the economic and cultural changes of the consumerist Spain of the 1960s. It further deals with Victor Erice's El espiritu de la colmena and works through cinematic memories of this film in later works such as El laberinto del fauno, El orfanato and El espinazo del diablo. The films are seen to gesture towards the imaginary creation of a missing child.
human. We know for a fact that she is a cyborg (at best); however, the
Oedipal narrative works very hard to make us forget this. The outcome,
man having intercourse with a cyborg, is far from a classical one. Thus
the narrative ends up in a postmodern capsule. Literally, we are on the
verge of the post-narrative.
As for the other issues of the postmodern nightmare
(post-photography and post
Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.
poses eroticism and violence. Using terminology derived from
narratology, we might note that the words give us a prolepsis
(or preview) of what is about to happen, and it is also an analepsis (or flashback), in the sense that it relates, by implication, an
event that has happened before (‘Don’t worry about the heat of
the barrel, / I’ve done this before’) – this is her job, her ‘extreme
routine’, hence the poem’s inclusion in this set.
In discussing it further I will mainly use the ‘cyborg’ theory
of Donna Haraway, as put forward in her book Simians, Cyborgs,
Here the influence of Donna Haraway – who Kunzru has
both interviewed and written about – is profoundly evident.48
Kunzru’s description captures Haraway’s world of technoscience in which ‘fibers infiltrate deep and wide throughout
the tissues of the planet, including the flesh of our personal
bodies’, creating a cyborg culture in which man and machine
are interwoven.49 At the centre of this is Kunzru’s meditation
on the nature of the computer virus. If, as Haraway suggests,
disease is a kind of language then,50 with language essential to
selfhood,51the virus is
technologies will affect
our embodied constitution, and thereby reshape social norms. In this
sense, science fiction offers a popular mediation of postmodern theory
which sees aspects of a person’s identity, such as gender or the family,
as fluid rather than biologically essential. Donna Haraway’s feminist
‘Cyborg manifesto’ (1991), for example, suggests that in today’s
industrialised societies people are
, as with all other structural experiments, still provides one linear way through the text, no matter how random the choosing of that order might be. See, for example, Liestol, cited in Aarseth (43).
Regardless of this debate, hypertextual reading clearly engenders fundamentally different reading practices than those used for printed literature. Indeed, according to N. Katherine Hayles, hypertextual reading ‘initiate[s] and demand[s] cyborg reading practices
-humans and recognise
their contribution to our community that is much more diverse than we are prepared to admit. In Haraway’s early work, the figure that stood for such affinities or
couplings was the cyborg.27 Echoing Butler’s claims about social rather than symbolic
kinship, Haraway described the cyborg as ‘a creature of social reality’, where social
reality meant the heterogeneity of ‘lived social relations’ (1991: 149) within a diverse
group of humans, animals, plants, and machines that does not comply with dominant symbolic norms.28
For Haraway, the figure of the