Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chad Cain-ABstract

Paper topic: The Cyborg

I thought for my paper I would explore the idea of the cyborg in American film. Because the scope of this topic is so large I will have to narrow my focus down to only a few movies. I find that particularly in American film, the cyborg is presented as being an unstoppable, destructive force, hell bent on eradicating humanity. I thought I could start by looking at the borg in Star Trek. Then move on to the unstoppable technological bionic android gone awry, like seen in the movie The Terminator. I will link Donna Harraway’s ideas in The Cyborg Manifesto to the human whose mind has been colonized by a simulated reality from which s/he cannot unplug, as in The Matrix. I think that will prove a good blend because it is a great example of the machine-human binary system. I’m also interested in computers with human-like minds, like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and link that to computer applications such as cleverbot. I can explore the idea further of machines being able to replace life, and quarrel with the concept of whether or not machines will ever be considered alive. Mostly I want to focus on what seems (at least through Hollywood cinema) to be an extreme paranoia of the human race concerning Cyborgs, and whether or not they will replace and control us. I think with all this, I will have enough for ten pages. I’ll probably wind up having too much. If that is the case I will narrow my focus down further and omit a few films from my analysis.

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