Techno-monsters from Frankenstein to The Matrix

Cyborgblog Assignment

Value: 20% of Final Grade
Length: equivalent to 12–15 pages double-spaced text


A blog is a "web log," a web application that archives regular entries published onto the web. It's sort of like an interactive diary-cum-newspaper.

A cyborg is—depending on any given commentator's take on the subject—a hybrid of organic and mechanical components like the Borg on Star Trek or Motoko Kusanagi in the anime Ghost in the Shell, or an ordinary person with a heart pacemaker or contact lenses, or an avatar whose consciousness is enmeshed in the computer network, like Case in Gibson's Neuromancer or Neo and Trinity in the movie The Matrix.

A monster is—what is a monster? Is Frankenstein's monster a monster? Is Spider Rose? What about us, as technologized humans in the 21st century? Are we monstrous?

Your responsibilities

  • in general, involve yourself in an online conversation on the "monstrous" cyborg in human-technology interactions
  • make at least one entry and one comment per week through the duration of the class
  • the amount of text you produce should be equivalent to at least 12 to 15 pages; I'll be reading these as we go, but please copy and paste the text you've contributed into a text file to hand in at the end of the class

What to write about

Because this is an English class, try to find ways to incorporate analysis of literature, film, or theory into your entries and comments. Be thoughtful, be provoking, and be creative.

  • interesting technological monstrosities and cyborgs you find on the web: the entries already there provide some ideas of potential subject matter—however, keep in mind that your entries should contain substantive critique not just news announcements
  • comments, observations, questions that occur as you research and develop your essay
  • observations, comments, or questions on course materials relevant to the subject of cyborgs
  • continue conversations and clarify ideas from class discussion related to cyborgs
  • comment on, debate, add to other people's entries (including mine)