English 602 Fall 2016

Literature and Society


For Thursday, read Nick Dyer-Witheford’s essay, “Digital labour, species-becoming and the global worker.”  After you’ve read the essay, blog about any connections you see between Dyer-Witheford’s descriptions and arguments and Kunzru’s Transmission.

September 28th, 2016

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For Tuesday, try to get up to page 147 in Kunzru’s Transmission.

The new due date for your Neuromancer writing is Thursday, September 24.  If you put a rough draft up on your blog by Tuesday, I will read and comment on it by Wed. at noon.

September 24th, 2016

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Let’s start talking about Hari Kunzru’s novel, Transmission.  You should read the first 50 pages or so.

If we didn’t get a chance to talk about your Neuromancer project, let’s chat soon.

September 21st, 2016

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Remember: no class on Tuesday, September 20.  Instead, I’ll be holding all-day office hours – – from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m.  Stop by HUM 553 to talk about ideas for writing about Neuromancer!

September 18th, 2016

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For Thursday, let’s finish reading/discussing Gibson’s Neuromancer.  Also, blog about the connections you see between noir/Pickup on South Street and Neuromancer,  e.g. carry on the conversation we started yesterday.


(Hat tip to George G. for the fantastic Massive Attack/noir mashup!)

September 14th, 2016

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We’ll discuss Sam Fuller’s 1953 noir flick –  – Pickup on South Street. (Click the link below.)  As you watch the movie, think about connections you see between Fuller’s noir and Gibson’s Neuromancer.


September 10th, 2016

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For Thursday, let’s read up to Chapter 16 or so in Neuromancer.

Also, don’t forget to blog whether you agree or disagree with the following quote from Neil Easterbrook’s article on Neuromancer: “Two particular sorts of tropes inform the narrative’s manipulation of technology.  The first is an SF topos, a pattern of tropological displacement common since Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818): a neat reversal of the natural/artificial opposition.  In Neuromancer all natural/artificial images are reversed from their conventional priority: techne now precedes physis” (Neil Easterbrook, “The Arc of Our Destruction: Reversal and Erasure in Cyberpunk SFStudies Vol. 19 (1992)).

Enjoy some dub, mon!

September 7th, 2016

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Read up to the end of Chapter 11 in Neuromancer.

In addition, blog about the relation between hacking and Gibson’s novel.  Keep in mind our discussion of “the hacker” as cultural hero, Himanen’s essay, and our gloss of Wark’s “Hacker Manifesto.”  (You can find the Wark quotes here.)

I find Wark’s generalized model of hacking pretty suggestive.  For instance: ““To produce is to repeat; to hack, to differentiate. . . . The hack is at one and the same time the force that opens toward increasing the surplus, and something deeply threatening to any fixed, fast-frozen relations.”  Given this description, is computer hacking the only type of hacking in the novel?

September 3rd, 2016

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