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third quarter feedback

2009 April 5
by Maddie

1. what connections have you seen among all the imaginative representations of gender and technology that we’ve looked @?

In this quarters imaginative works, I’ve noticed that most seem to touch on the gendering of “Human nature”. There is this thing called human nature that all humans should share, but many of these works suggest there is a male and a female nature, instead of one that is joint. Both Watchmen and Metropolis focused somewhat on “the male gaze”– or some uncontrollable idiotic dumbfoundedness that men are overcome by in the face of a beautiful, half-naked woman on display. Although women (in the offred thinking about exposing her ankle to the guarts, for instance) may experience a similar highly sexual thought process, women are meant to refrain from acting out. The HMT I think does the best job of suggesting that both men and women are having innate, sexual thoughts, and almost equally acting out on them. Can different societies see “human nature” in two different lights?

2. how do these works contribute to your understandings of gender, technology or the relations between them?

I thought the use of tecnology in Metropolis were interesting… the world run by a machine run/built by a human– yet everyone sees the machine as keeping society together. This I thought was reminiscent of the modern “technological dystopia” theme that many the-future-gone-wrong-because-of-machines novels and films look at. Many people are so fast to “blame technology” without actually placing the blame on the humans that created the technology. Is this because we are self-protective to a degree that its easier to blame another entity? or has technology that was once under our control actually become a separate entity altogether? The HMT was also a grim look at the intersection of gender and technology, because of the degree to which technology was not accessable. Is there any technology today that keeps society together by only being accessible to some select individuals in society? I believe this is absolutely the case, and whereas in the HMT gender was the boundary, I usually see the issue of class as the boundary in our society.

3. any other feedback about how the class has been working the past three weeks, w/ all the small group work we’ve been doing? are there other things you’d like to be doing in class that we haven’t done yet, or that you’d like to do more of?

At times I didn’t find the group work beneficial. For example I think that when we get “too into the books”, i.e. analyzing watchmen from the POV of a watchmen character, we are taken one step further away from the “so what” question that we’ve sort of had trouble answering at the end of the class. Though its an interesting exercise, I think there are other, more beneficial ways of examining a work from another POV. What about Offred’s take on Watchmen? What about Offred as a character in Watchmen? What character would we play in this society and why?

4. what concrete suggestions do you have in particular about wordpress functionality? (Laura and Anne have started a log here….)

The paper submission/naming process seems a bit complicated, or maybe could be a bit more straight forward.

Otherwise, I can’t think of many suggestions off the top of my head– I think the site is well used and much appreciated.
5. what has your experience been with posting and receiving on-line commentary on your papers?

I really like the on-line commentary. Whereas with ordinary papers that are just turned in and returned with illegible notes, this gives you the chance to enter in a discussion about your paper with your advisor, or anyt others that took the liberty to read it. In the past I’ve felt that making appointments with my professors to continue conversing about a paper has been tedious. This allows for a simple, easy and effective means of diving further into your paper with the e-help of your audience.

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