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Third Quarter Feedback

2009 April 5
by Hannah Mueller

1. what connections have you seen among all the imaginative representations of gender and technology that we’ve looked @?
One common thread for me has to do with utopia: in all three narratives, the goal of the troublemakers is to create a utopia. But all were anti-utopias because they were founded on mass death and suffering. “Better always means worse for some” means utopia really is “no-place”: it can’t exist. Yet people who want power (Frederson, the Commanders, Ozymandius) often invoke ideas of utopia to justify their plans.

2. how do these works contribute to your understandings of gender, technology or the relations between them?
The Handmaid’s Tale made me think back to women telephone operators, and even the women who perform female genital cutting, because in the book and real life, women are agents of male dominance by being “leaders” or controllers of other women. This seems dangerously subtle.

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?
I liked dividing up by our majors; that was productive, especially, for me, hearing from a computer science and social science perspective. Maybe reading some theory with the fictions would have helped our discussions…but, I should be careful what I wish for…

4. what concrete suggestions do you have in particular about wordpress functionality?
One thing I still miss about classes on Serendip compared with WordPress is that you can see the names of all the threads, with author and number of comments and date all in one chart. I wish there were some option to view the front page like this, because I find it easier to find and go back to certain posts.

5. what has your experience been with posting and receiving on-line commentary on your papers?
No complaints–I just think personally I need to get back into the groove of posting during the week, between classes ideally, when our conversations are fresh in my mind, instead of on the weekends.

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