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Notes Towards Day 9: Imaginatively Engendering Technology

Engendering Technology, Imaginatively: Panel II

From Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1926)

I. Coursekeeping/Technostuff

–reminder: if your paper/name’s not showing on
the Web Paper page, return and post in “custom field”

–in response to complaints, we upped the # of
“recent posts/comments” to 10 (could go to 15….)

-3 weekend assignments, all due by Sunday evening:

*don’t forget to post in the blog about what you’ve been thinking this week…

*sign up for a second panel, on collectively gendered technology use
review list of possibilities on the “readings page” for Feb. 25-Mar. 4
go to “second set of panels” page to sign up:
think about being an anthropologist/sociologist–
and think collectively: what global experiences of g&t
have we not yet explored together?

*weigh in on what films/texts you would like us to
read/view collectively (or in small groups) after break
today’s panel (of imaginative figures)
should be a great place to begin thinking about the texts/
films they come from, whether we want to read/view them together

again: review list of possibilities on the “readings page
for Mar. 16-25; then go to Novel/Film Discussions to enter your suggestions and preferred format for discussion

also next week:
need to begin round of (required) conferences…
to get ’em all in before break/2nd paper due on March 6

II. Today Zathura (level 80 WoW warrior) and the
renegate robo-sapein “Spike”

welcome 12 imaginative figures:

Barbie (Sugar Spice)
Ken (Simran)
GI Joe (lparrish)
Kathryn Janeway (Hlin)
Dr. Manhatten (Alex)
Kaywinnit Lee “Kaylee” Frye (The Doctor)
Rosie the Riveter (Carrie)
Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster (Solomon)
Echo (Guinevere)
Ariane (SarahLeia)
Trillian (AH)
The Terminator (Maddie)
Del Spooner (Alex M)

III. First introducing their 21st c. representatives
Simran->Alex F->The Doctor->Carrie->Simran

IV. Getting on the grid:
what axes of representations would be most useful to identify?
(if not those of space, time, class, race, occupation….)
how about degree of cyborg-ness? or….?
how else are these figures like/different from one another?
into what patterns/categories can we organize them?

V. On Monday, heard from range of historical figures about

  • how gender & technology “reciprocally shaped one another” in their lives

  • how much “gender was a product of social technology” for them

  • what “spaces off” were available to them

  • whether gender was an ally or a threat in
    meeting their “gender needs”

  • whether their culture “constructed technology as masculine”

  • how much of a breakdown there was in their lives/ages
    between the three “leaky distinctions” of human-animal, organism-machine, physical-non-physical?

How would you answer (any of) those questions?

Perhaps most importantly:
what difference does it make in our thinking,
that you arrive here not from the historical world,
but the imaginative one?

(Does that make you more/less/differently useful to us,
in our coming to understand the various possible relations between gender and technology?)

Other Questions:

Do you consider yourself gendered? If so, how?

What is the gender system like in your world? Is gender fluid or more rigidly defined?  And how does that affect you?