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Third Quarter Feedback

2009 April 5
by Michelle Bennett

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

I think that in The Handmaid’s Tale and Watchmen gender was portrayed as something that was strictly and rigidly regulated by rules and laws. I think the figures of Laurie Jupiter and Offred are strikingly similar, in that they’re both kept and sustained by outside forces for the purpose of being used by a man for a “higher” cause, and that the roles they portray are both telling and cautionary. I suppose the representation of Maria in Metropolis is in stark contrast to those of Offred and Laurie, in that she’s portrayed as something both regulated (by the mad scientist) and dangerous. Although different from the other two women in many ways, I suppose Maria’s existence is also cautionary to a certain degree. 
2. how do these works contribute to your understandings of gender, technology or the relations between them?

I think these works reinforced ideas of gender construction, but also added to that concept the dimension of regulation or enforcement, as well as danger. Not necessarily danger in exploration, as parts of the “Tinysex” reading seem to imply, but instead danger in strict reinforcement of gender roles. I think technology factored into the relationships of Offred and Laurie to others, in that the laws they had to follow could constitute technology in some way, and Robot Maria, more obviously, embodied technology in her very construction and purpose. I think all three works we studied have somewhat unpleasant or apocalyptic endings, to use a term from the “Tinysex” article again. 

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’m not a huge fan of small group work. I prefer whole class discussions, when people contribute to discussion because they want to, not because they feel they have to spark discussion within their groups. I think the discussions we’ve had as a whole class have been more useful and interesting than the conversations we have in small groups.
4. what concrete suggestions do you have in particular about wordpress functionality? (Laura and Anne have started a log here….)

No suggestions.
5. what has your experience been with posting and receiving on-line commentary on your papers?

I think this is a good system.

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