Author Archives: amlehr

Bodies of Evidence: Recovering Early Modern Forensic Systems

My first blog post invited you to gaze into a stranger’s viscera, and, in Cloud Atlas fashion, I seem to have ended up exactly where I started. Over the past several months, I have been cultivating an interest in bodily testimony and forensics during… Continue reading

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Wound Up: Rape, Trauma, and Exploitation Tropes in “The Windup Girl”

Before I read Bacigalupi’s novel, my mental image of a “windup girl” evoked a creature like Olympia from E.T.A. Hoffman’s “Sandman”: delicate and hauntingly removed from the events of the world around her.  Bacigalupi’s Emiko, however, f… Continue reading

Posted in coercion, Cognitive Studies, consent, exploitation films, gender, Gender studies, I Spit on Your Grave, Madame Butterfly, Ms. 45, Orientalism, Paolo Bacigalupi, PTSD, rape, Science Fiction, The Windup Girl, trauma, violence | Comments Off on Wound Up: Rape, Trauma, and Exploitation Tropes in “The Windup Girl”

“Big Things Have Small Beginnings”: Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012) on Nanotechnology

At first glance, nanotechnology (technology on an atomic or molecular scale) and hyperobjects (defined by Timothy Morton as “things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to humans”) may seem like two destinations for scientific … Continue reading

Posted in AI, Alien franchise, androids, big things have small beginnings, black goo, David, film, Hyperobjects, Jane Bennett, Lawrence of Arabia, Michael Fassbender, nanotechnology, Peter O'Toole, Prometheus, Ridley Scott, Science Fiction, technoscience, the singularity, Timothy Morton, vibrant matter | Comments Off on “Big Things Have Small Beginnings”: Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012) on Nanotechnology

Searching for MaddEve: Bare Life, Homo Sacer, and the Problem of Atwood’s Oryx

The labs and factory farms of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake present us with a vertible zoo of zoē ─ a menagerie of bioforms that embody Giorgio Agamben’s concept of “bare life.” During his tour of Watson-Crick’s NeoAgriculturals wing, Continue reading

Posted in Agamben, Atwood, Margaret, bare life, biopolitics, Bride of Frankenstein, ChickieNobs, Gender studies, Homo Sacer, Jimmy, MaddAdam, MaddEve, Oryx and Crake, Science Fiction, Sex trafficking, Snowman, subjectivity | Comments Off on Searching for MaddEve: Bare Life, Homo Sacer, and the Problem of Atwood’s Oryx

How the Five-Men Tasted Blood: Ghosts of the Medusa in The Island of Dr. Moreau

While the mad scientist and his beast hybrids have become enough of a well-worn trope to be ripe for parody (see an example from Archer at the end of this post), I was impressed by how fresh and truly disturbing H.G. Wells’s vision of scientific hubr… Continue reading

Posted in Archer, Beastfolk, Dr. Krieger, Gericault, H.G. Wells, Hobbes, Lewis Petrinovich, Life of Pi, maritime law, Raft of the Medusa, Science Fiction, survivor cannibalism, The Cannibal Within, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Law, Wells, H. G., wreck of the Medusa | Comments Off on How the Five-Men Tasted Blood: Ghosts of the Medusa in The Island of Dr. Moreau

“Three’s a Crowd”: Queer Networks of Desire in Henry James and Beyond

I thoroughly enjoyed Eric Savoy’s “‘In the Cage’ and the Queer Effects of Gay History,” in which Savoy situates James’s treatment of sexual scandal and class transgression in his novella in the context of anxieties raised by the Wilde trial… Continue reading

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Mounds of Venus, or What a Pile of Goddess Guts Can Teach Us About Objectivity

In their history of science tome, Objectivity (2010), Daston and Galison examine how the modern concept of objectivity emerged from the mid-nineteenth-century sciences. They argue that this ideal of objectivity requires “the suppression of some aspec… Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century, anatomical venus, erotic science, exquisite corpse, Gender studies, history of science, lady parts, Lorraine Daston, medical ethics, Peter Galison, torso explosion, Visuality | Comments Off on Mounds of Venus, or What a Pile of Goddess Guts Can Teach Us About Objectivity