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UNIT 4, PART IV GENDER AND NEW MEDIA The Medieval and the Modern: Issues of Gender.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIT 4, PART IV GENDER AND NEW MEDIA The Medieval and the Modern: Issues of Gender."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIT 4, PART IV GENDER AND NEW MEDIA The Medieval and the Modern: Issues of Gender

2 For Today... Review terms from Abrams: Hyperbole and Understatement and Science Fiction and Fantasy Pass out presentation sign-up sheet Discussion of: Donna Haraway, Manifesto for Cyborgs Laura Miller, Women and Children First

3 One more time... Web Authoring Projects Online revision of your 8-10 page papers Grade based on: Quality of the students revision Overall creativity of design Oral presentation of projects in class, March 11 th and 13th Julia Panko, the Transcriptions Studio RA, will be available to help you with your web authoring projects. Her drop-in hours for the winter quarter are: Tuesday, 11:00-5:00 Wednesday, 9:30-12:00 Thursday, 2:00-5:00 Friday, 10:00-12:30

4 Additional Workshops at the Transcriptions Studio... Transcriptions will be holding Dreamweaver web-authoring tutorials at the following times: Tuesday, March 4th, 12:00 - 1:00 Wednesday, March 5th, 11: :00 The Dreamweaver tutorials are designed specifically to aid students who have web-authoring assignments due at the end of the quarter; however, everyone is welcome. The tutorial will cover basic skills including: defining the site, connecting to UWeb through FTP, making simple pages, making links, adding images, using tables, and uploading pages. It will also provide resources for intermediate skills (like using templates, layers, and graphics).

5 Abrams: Hyperbole and Understatement Hyperbole Bold overstatement or extravagant exaggeration Can be used seriously and ironically to create emphasis Examples: "He has a brain the size of a pea." "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse." In the American West, tall talk or the tall tale is a form of comic hyperbole

6 Abrams: Understatement, continued... Understatement Opposite of hyperbole where someone deliberately represents something as very much less in magnitude or importance than it really is, or is ordinarily considered to be. Used for ironic effect Example: Mark Twain: The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. Monty Python... Litotes: A form of understatement where one asserts the affirmative by negating its contrary Example: In Beowulf, when Hrothgar is describing Grendels dwelling place, he states: That is not a pleasant place.

7 Abrams: Science Fiction and Fantasy Science Fiction Novels and short stories that represent an imagined reality that is radically different in its nature and functioning from the world of our ordinary experience. Settings: Other planets Future earth Parallel universe Fictional world is made plausible by illustrating technological advances, scientific principles, or changes to the organization of society that could possibly happen... Examples: Star Trek (TNG, my personal favorite), Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells

8 Abrams: Science Fiction, continued... Cyberpunk postmodern form of science fiction in which the events take place partially or entirely within the virtual reality formed by computers or computer networks. Characters can be both human and artificial intelligence Example: William Gibsons Neuromancer

9 Abrams: Fantasy, continued... Fantasy From The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: Fiction characterized by highly fanciful or supernatural elements. Example: J. R. R. Tolkien: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings

10 Miller, Women and Children First Miller considers the way gender is perceived online and the problems this might pose in terms of the regulation of the internet She refutes articles published in in periodicals such as Newsweek that characterize the Net as hostile to women. Fantasy versus Reality Are the conversations that we have online via forums, chats, or instant messaging true representations of our core beliefs? What do you think?

11 Miller, Women and Children First, continued... Internet is not for just for the small elite of academics, scientists, and hobbyists (215) Everyone with a computer and internet access can participate

12 Miller, Women and Children First, continued... Things to think about: With so much freedom, how has the internet been regulated? And how will it be regulated in the future? How will the gender debate contribute to the regulation of the internet? How do traditional gender roles limit men and women?

13 The Net has traditionally been seen as self-regulated Example: Forum moderators The Net has also been perceived as a kind of frontier But unlike the Old West, this frontier Has no physical space Was created by its pioneers Is not empty, but filled with fellow users Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

14 But why call the internet cyberspace or frontier? Our need to conceptualize something abstract Problem: these analogies bring with them a heavy load of baggage (216) What do we typically associate with a frontier? American West Lawless society A place where physical strength, courage, and personal charisma supplant institutional authority and violent conflict is the means of settling disputes (216) Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

15 In the Western mythos, women and children must be protected, which therefore necessitates the introduction of civilization and regulation into society Women and Children First... Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

16 How does this apply to the internet? Fears of children being victimized by sexual predators Reports of women being intimidated or sexually harassed online Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

17 Miller questions the perception of women as victims of Internet abuse In the article by Newsweek, women are presented as: Vulnerable Weak But what do these perceptions indicate about women in general? Though Miller clearly notes that physical crimes against womens bodies be rigorously prosecuted, she questions special protections (chivalry, by another name) with suspicion (217) Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

18 Are we who we say we are online? Are our physical bodies always represented online? How does this complicate our understanding of gender online, especially when it comes to our opinions of online harassment? Though there have been reports of unwanted sexual advances online, Miller cites from her own experience that though these reports might be true, they might also be overstated, be misinterpretations of the truth, or broad generalizations Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

19 Miller then discusses the connection between sexual harassment and the underlying threat of rape or physical violence (218) But in cyberspace, where we have no bodies, is rape or physical violence possible? What about the emotional repercussions of online sexual harassment? Are women more susceptible than men? And if so, are we again playing into traditional feminine gender roles by thinking of womens minds as more vulnerable to invasion, degradation, and abuse (218)? Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

20 Miller argues that the Net levels the playing field in online discussions Regulating the internet in order to protect one gender over another therefore becomes troubling Miller refers to her own experience online to illustrate the way in which many women hold their own in online discussions Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

21 And what about those who present themselves online as the opposite gender? This illustrates the way in which gender is socially constructed World of Warcraft Miller, Women and Children First, continued...

22 Haraway: Manifesto for Cyborgs Written in response to feminists of the 70s and 80s who wanted to determine the essence of what it means to be a woman Definition of manifesto: From The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.

23 Argues that we are all cyborgs, both organisms and machines MySpace Facebook Haraway argues for pleasure in the confusion of boundaries and for people taking responsibility for the construction of these boundaries (29) Her argument presents a way of thinking of a world without gender Haraway: Manifesto for Cyborgs

24 Essay presents a total rethinking of what it means to be human or a machine outside of traditional and perhaps outdated theories Three boundary breakdowns: Human/animal Humans versus chimps Animal-human/machine Sentience and the ghost in the machine Non-physical/physical Real space versus cyberspace Haraway: Manifesto for Cyborgs

25 Problems with traditional feminism: To attribute a title to one group is to exclude other groups or individuals Does being female or male mean that all females and all males are completely alike? There cannot be one single idea of what it means to be a man or a woman, because this idea will inevitably not include everyone Haraway argues that gender, race, class consciousness, etc. differentiate us But who made these categories in the first place? Haraway argues that these divisions came about as a result of patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism Haraway: Manifesto for Cyborgs

26 Solution: A Cyborg identity a network ideological image, suggesting the profusion of spaces and identities and the permeability of boundaries in the personal body and in the body politic (32) Haraway references Audre Lordes title Sister Outsider to discuss the way in which women of color can be understood as a cyborg identity, in which perceptions of otherness and difference can be seen as a unifying force Haraway: Manifesto for Cyborgs

27 Writing as a crucial means of communicating and as a response to patriarchy (a family, community, or society based on this system or governed by men) Example: Cherrie Moraga, Loving in the War Years Retells the story of Malinche Uses a chimera of English and Spanish (34) Writing in the boundaries, not on either side of them Constantly fluid and shifting Haraway: Manifesto for Cyborgs

28 Writing is pre-eminently the technology of cyborgs, etched surfaces of the late twentieth century (35) Finding a new code with which to speak Reconceptualizing traditional binaries by writing in the space between them Haraway: Manifesto for Cyborgs

29 For Tuesday... Read excerpt from Marx, available through E-RES New Moodle assignment, due this Sunday Consider the way in which the medieval period has been commodified in popular culture, such as in movies, video games, or public gatherings. Write a paragraph or two discussing your thoughts on the issue Due date: Tuesday, March 4th

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