Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought by Patricia Melzer

By Patricia Melzer

Although set in different worlds populated by means of alien beings, technology fiction is a domain the place people can critique and re-imagine the paradigms that form this global, from basics reminiscent of the intercourse and gender of the physique to worldwide strength kin between sexes, races, and international locations. Feminist thinkers and writers are more and more spotting technological know-how fiction's capability to shatter patriarchal and heterosexual norms, whereas the creators of technology 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 technology fiction via shut readings of technology fiction literature via Octavia E. Butler, Richard Calder, and Melissa Scott and the films "The Matrix" and the "Alien" sequence. Patricia Melzer analyzes how those authors and movies signify debates and ideas in 3 components of feminist proposal: identification and distinction, feminist evaluations of technological know-how and know-how, and the connection between gender identification, physique, and wish, together with the hot gender politics of queer wishes, transgender, and intersexed our bodies and identities. She demonstrates that key political components form those debates, together with worldwide capitalism and exploitative type kinfolk inside of a turning out to be foreign process; the effect of desktop, 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 hope. Melzer's research makes it transparent that feminist writings and readings of technology fiction are a part of a feminist critique of latest energy family members - and that the alien buildings (cyborgs, clones, androids, extraterrestrial beings, and hybrids) that populate post-modern technology fiction are as most likely empowering as they're threatening.

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Extra resources for Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought

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Models of cyborg identities (Donna Haraway) address the effects of specific systems of technology on our cultural and political identities. Feminist theories of subjectivity are challenged and enhanced by queer theory’s emphasis on transgressive sexualities and by the emerging discourse on transgender and genderqueer identities. In all of these theories, the question of the construction of social categories such as gender, class, nationality, sexuality, and race are central. The negotiations of categories of sameness and difference play a crucial role in issues of global power relations, identity politics, and agency.

There are, of course, other writers who share with Octavia Butler an alternative vision of human relations within a science fiction and/or fantasy setting. Many of them are contributors to the anthology Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora, edited by Sheree R. Thomas, such as contemporary writers Samuel Delany, Nisi Shawl, Charles Saunders, Steven Barnes, and Nalo Hopkinson.

Butler: Parables of Race and Difference’’: It is unfortunate that because [Butler’s] work is marketed under the rubric of science or speculative fiction, it has been considered apart from other genres, including the body of mainstream African American fiction, and that as a result it is only rarely that she is discussed in a context that includes other African American female writers. ’’ As a result, those texts consumed by readers outside the ‘‘mainstream’’ 6 are often not considered in debates about how differences shape identities.

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