Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Future (of the) Social Contract

Erin Pellarin draws a comparison between Dawn and “Beggars in Spain” in her discussion of social contract and how they might affect human relationships in the future. In addition, she contemplates what the future of humanity itself may become; what responsibilities and privileges does a person have in regards to his fellow man? How defined […] Continue reading

Posted in biopolitics, definition of relation with others, ethics, Ethics of science, futurity of humanity, genetic engineering, relationship with ailens, Social contract | Comments Off on The Future (of the) Social Contract

Bare Life in Dawn

We’ve all heard people say, “it’s for your own good,” and as much as we resented it then, many have conceded that it was probably the best course of action at the time. But when does “for your own good” turn destructive? Dan Fang discusses the criticisms that the Oankali bring to the human race […] Continue reading

Posted in Agamben, bare life, Dawn, health institutions, Octavia Butler, right to choose, Science and humanities | Comments Off on Bare Life in Dawn

Going to Conferences Part II: The Posturing

So, if you’ve been keeping up with us for the past few blogs, we’ve been talking about attending conferences. I’d like to devote this particular post to “posturing” for two reasons: 1) I think that, in many cases, it’s assumed … Continue reading Continue reading

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We Can Build Panda Burgers: A. melanoleuca, Simulacrum

Hailsham’s system of rearing clones to be used as organ transplant donors evokes strong imagery of agricultural and livestock-raising practices, Killian C. Quigley notes. But the methodology and implementation of the system, including the non-clone citizens’ attitude towards the clones, is something entirely non-organic. In his post, Quigley compares the system of organ donation to […] Continue reading

Posted in agriculture, Archaeologies of the Future, beef, biopolitics, cattle, celebrity, Cloning, ConAgra, definitions of nature, dystopia, factory farming, farming, food science, Fredric Jameson, Future, GMO, Heston Blumenthal, Ian Sample, Kazuo Ishiguro, Maastricht University, Mark Post, nature, Nebraska, Never Let Me Go, Omaha, panda, physiology, postmodernism, test-tube burger, the future of food, The Guardian, the natural, utopia | Comments Off on We Can Build Panda Burgers: A. melanoleuca, Simulacrum

The Politics of Knowledge II: Revenge of the Knowledge

Dan Fang extends the discussion of information and narrative structure that Pellarin started, but she instead focuses on the way Kathy presents the book, not the way the future is presented to the Hailsham students. Although Pellarin mentioned a parallel between the way information is withheld from the students to the way that information is […] Continue reading

Posted in knowledge, narrative structure, Never Let Me Go | Comments Off on The Politics of Knowledge II: Revenge of the Knowledge

The Politics of Knowledge: Why “Never Let Me Go” never lets me go

“Knowledge is Power,” the old slogan says. But is that always necessarily true? Erin Pellarin discusses just how powerless knowledge can be in the face of unchangeable circumstances, how even though the main characters of Never Let Me Go are eventually fully aware of what’s going to happen to them, they still are unable to do […] Continue reading

Posted in activity versus passivity, Cloning, Dissemination of information, Ethics of science, fate, Kazuo Ishiguro, narrative structure, Never Let Me Go, reader response, role of education | Comments Off on The Politics of Knowledge: Why “Never Let Me Go” never lets me go

Going to Conferences Part I: The Paper

This post is the second installment of a three-part series on conferences. On Thursday, we talked about submitting abstracts, and today we’ll talk about your presentation. Conferences are great places to meet other scholars and learn cool new stuff. More … Continue reading Continue reading

Posted in conferences, presentations, Professionalization, travel, Writing Process | Comments Off on Going to Conferences Part I: The Paper

Attempts at Some Theses on Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas becomes more complex the more one tries to pick it apart, and Dan Fang in his blog post below has crafted several theories about the overall message and tone of the novel. From the bleakness of the incapability of history to the hope of legacy through narration to a very meta-fictional thesis that […] Continue reading

Posted in Cloud Atlas, dystopia, Fiction, language, post-apocalyptic, progress, truth | Comments Off on Attempts at Some Theses on Cloud Atlas

“PLANET AGAINST SEABOARD” and Other Sentimental Fictions

In his analysis of Cloud Atlas, Killian C. Quigley takes a deeper look into the sentiments that transcend the human experience and why they affect us so deeply. He considers the novel not simply a book, but a collection of human struggles that connect not only the characters within the stories, but the readers as […] Continue reading

Posted in ambiguity, branding, California, Chatham Isle, Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, education, empire, england, expansion, Flanders, imperialism, Lorraine Daston, marketing, New Zealand, novel, objectivity, Peter Galison, planet, Richard Hakluyt, semiotics, solidarity, UNICEF, voyaging, Yangon, Yukon | Comments Off on “PLANET AGAINST SEABOARD” and Other Sentimental Fictions

The Meaning of Progress

Cloud Atlas cycles not only the characters’ struggles and the interwoven natures of their stories, but their relationships as well. From Adam Ewing to Meroynm, the reader can see a cycle of oppression and survival, of predator and prey, the constants that remain regardless of how the environment changes. Erin Pellarin questions what, exactly, is […] Continue reading

Posted in Cloud Atlas, hierarchies, progress, role of science, stagnancy versus change, taxonomies | Comments Off on The Meaning of Progress