Techno-monsters from Frankenstein to The Matrix


Sept 10

I. Introduction: Humanity/Monstrosity: What's the Dif?

Defining the "Human" (The Mind-Body Conundrum) - René Descartes, La Mettrie, natural philosophy of the 18th Century; excerpts from Ghost in the Shell (Allison)

Blogger account setup

Sept 17

Towards Defining the "Human" and the "Monstrous": 17th & 18th-century anatomical backgrounds to Frankenstein (Allison)

Readings: excerpt from The Monster in the Machine: Magic, Medicine, and the Marvellous in the Time of the Scientific Revolution by Zakiya Hanafi

"Monster Culture (Seven Theses)" by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen

Sept 24

II. Early Modernity

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

Oct 1

Frankenstein cont'd

"The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1843)

Oct 8

III. Modernity

"The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster (1909)

Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927)

Oct 15

James Whale's Frankenstein (1931)

[timeline blip]: Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)

Oct 22

Allison's gone to a conference: No Class. We'll add one class at the end of term to make up.

Oct 29

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley(1932)

Nov 5

"Mechanization of Modern Culture" by Lewis Mumford (1934)

Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times (1936)

Nov 12

"The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury (1951)

Roland Barthes, "The New Citroën" (1957)


Essay Due

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (1968)

Nov 26

III. Postmodernity

"Descartes Goes to Hollywood" Mind, Body and Gender in Contemporary Cyborg Cinema" by Samantha Holland

Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982)

Dec 3

Cyberpunk: "Spider Rose" by Bruce Sterling (1982)

"Corpses, Animals, Machines and Mannequins: The Body and Cyberpunk" by Kevin McCarron

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix