Search results for: alien-chic

Alien Chic

Author : Neil Badmington
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From The War of the Worlds, Mars Attacks!, Mission to Mars and Independence Day; Neil Badmington explores our relationship with aliens and how thinkers such as Descartes, Barthes, Freud, Lyotard and Derrida have conceptualised what it means to be human (and post-human).

Citizen Science Fiction

Author : Dr. Jerome Winter
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Citizen Science Fiction argues that science-fiction literature and media can engage and empower individuals to become active and critical participants in citizen science such that they can collaborate meaningfully in the scientific and technological communities, institutions, and industries that deeply shape their everyday lives.

Aliens Robots Virtual Reality Idols in the Science Fiction of H P Lovecraft Isaac Asimov and William Gibson

Author : John L. Steadman
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H. P. Lovecraft’s aliens are extra-terrestrial, terrestrial & trans-dimensional entities, totally unlike any other aliens in science fiction literature. In contrast, Isaac Asimov's and William Gibson’s aliens are human created positronic robots and virtual reality constructs, or 'idols'. Lovecraft’s great theme is alien indifferentism, tinged with a malevolence that escalates into an existential, apocalyptic threat against humankind, while for Asimov and Gibson, alien inclusionism is the norm. The robots and the VR idols integrate into society and their influence appears to be beneficial. But this is only on the surface. In this book, John L. Steadman demonstrates that there is ultimately little difference between alien indifferentism and alien inclusionism in the fictional works of these three great writers. For in fact, the robots and the VR idols evolve into monsters whose actions bring about outcomes which are every bit as terrifying as anything in Lovecraft’s work. Humans tend to be isolates ('alien'-ated). The reader is invited to question this, and to consider the possibility that an alien perspective, or platform, might, perhaps, be crucial if we intend on seeing ourselves clearly and understanding exactly what it means to be human.

Science Fiction Alien Encounters and the Ethics of Posthumanism

Author : E. Gomel
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Science Fiction, Alien Encounters, and the Ethics of Posthumanism offers a typology of alien encounters and addresses a range of texts including classic novels of alien encounter by H.G. Wells and Robert Heinlein; recent blockbusters by Greg Bear, Octavia Butler and Sheri Tepper; and experimental science fiction by Peter Watts and Housuke Nojiri.

Alien Ocean

Author : Stefan Helmreich
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Alien Ocean immerses readers in worlds being newly explored by marine biologists, worlds usually out of sight and reach: the deep sea, the microscopic realm, and oceans beyond national boundaries. Working alongside scientists at sea and in labs in Monterey Bay, Hawai'i, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Sargasso Sea and at undersea volcanoes in the eastern Pacific, Stefan Helmreich charts how revolutions in genomics, bioinformatics, and remote sensing have pressed marine biologists to see the sea as animated by its smallest inhabitants: marine microbes. Thriving in astonishingly extreme conditions, such microbes have become key figures in scientific and public debates about the origin of life, climate change, biotechnology, and even the possibility of life on other worlds.

What is Posthumanism

Author : Cary Wolfe
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What does it mean to think beyond humanism? Is it possible to craft a mode of philosophy, ethics, and interpretation that rejects the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body, society and nature, human and animal, organic and technological? Can a new kind of humanities-posthumanities-respond to the redefinition of humanity's place in the world by both the technological and the biological or "green" continuum in which the "human" is but one life form among many? Exploring how both critical thought along with cultural practice have reacted to this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfe-one of the founding figures in the field of animal studies and posthumanist theory-ranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world. Then, in performing posthumanist readings of such diverse works as Temple Grandin's writings, Wallace Stevens's poetry, Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, the architecture of Diller+Scofidio, and David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, he shows how this philosophical sensibility can transform art and culture. For Wolfe, a vibrant, rigorous posthumanism is vital for addressing questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems and their inclusions and exclusions, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. In What Is Posthumanism? he carefully distinguishes posthumanism from transhumanism (the biotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. In doing so, Wolfe reveals that it is humanism, not the human in all its embodied and prosthetic complexity, that is left behind in posthumanist thought.

Fantasies of Self Mourning

Author : Ruben Borg
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Focusing on a recurring theme in twentieth-century film and literature, the fantasy of surviving one’s own death, Fantasies of Self-Mourning describes the formal features of a posthuman, cyborgian imaginary at work in modernism.

The Resonance of Unseen Things

Author : Susan Lepselter
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The Resonance of Unseen Things offers an ethnographic meditation on the “uncanny” persistence and cultural freight of conspiracy theory. The project is a reading of conspiracy theory as an index of a certain strain of late 20th-century American despondency and malaise, especially as understood by people experiencing downward social mobility. Written by a cultural anthropologist with a literary background, this deeply interdisciplinary book focuses on the enduring American preoccupation with captivity in a rapidly transforming world. Captivity is a trope that appears in both ordinary and fantastic iterations here, and Susan Lepselter shows how multiple troubled histories—of race, class, gender, and power—become compressed into stories of uncanny memory. “We really don’t have anything like this in terms of a focused, sympathetic, open-minded ethnographic study of UFO experiencers. . . . The author’s semiotic approach to the paranormal is immensely productive, positive, and, above all, resonant with what actually happens in history.” —Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion, Rice University “Lepselter relates a weave of intimate alien sensibilities in out-off-the-way places which are surprisingly, profoundly, close to home. Readers can expect to share her experience of contact with complex logics of feeling, and to do so in a contemporary America they may have thought they understood.” —Debbora Battaglia, Mount Holyoke College “An original and beautifully written study of contemporary American cultural poetics. . . . The book convincingly brings into relief the anxieties of those at the margins of American economic and civic life, their perceptions of state power, and the narrative continuities that bond them to histories of violence and expansion in the American West.” —Deirdre de la Cruz, University of Michigan

Aliens in Popular Culture

Author : Michael M. Levy
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An indispensable resource, this book provides wide coverage on aliens in fiction and popular culture. • Provides cultural context in introductory essays on some of the key themes and contexts of alien representation • Covers a broad scope, with more than 130 entries on different topics, and is written by nearly 90 researchers with diverse expertise • Shows readers the varied ways that imagined aliens have become a part of popular culture • Presents both familiar topics and more obscure topics in popular culture to provide new scholarship

Experimenting the Human

Author : G Douglas Barrett
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An engaging consideration of what experimental music can tell us about being human. In Experimenting the Human, G Douglas Barrett argues that experimental music speaks to the contemporary posthuman, a condition in which science and technology have challenged the centrality of the human amid the uneven temporality of postwar capitalism. Experimental music addresses this condition, Barrett contends, not by adhering to the formal strictures of musical modernism but by producing extra-formal meaning through its immanent transdisciplinary involvements with postwar science, technology, and art movements. Hear Alvin Lucier use his brain waves to play percussion. Picture Pamela Z sculpting the sound of her voice using her wearable BodySynth system. Imagine Pauline Oliveros reflecting her voice off of the moon using radio signals. What these musical artworks have in common is an engagement with the notion that the human has been increasingly challenged through cultural, biological, medical, economic, and technoscientific means. This book brings together music studies, art history, and media studies to provide new perspectives on cybernetics, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, robotics, and radio astronomy. Through a unique meeting of experimental music, posthumanism, and contemporary art, Experimenting the Human provides fresh insights into the perennial question of what it means to be human.