I’ve really been looking forward to class tonight.
After class, I intend to turn this into a full blog post, Now what we have had class, I want to expand on this based on our conversation.
We started class by watching this wildly popular recent clip of Louis CK.
We divided into small groups for conversation about the clip and then came back together to report back and talk about how it related to our recent class readings. Now, Louis CK might not seem like an obvious point of entry for discussing cyborg feminism, but his piece speaks to a few things:
- Anxiety about over-connection to devices
- Anxiety about losing abilities to empathize
- Anxiety about being alone
- Conjecture about what it means to “be a person”
So what we found is that he posits that being alone–sitting by yourself–is what it is to be a person, which is in many ways a very dualistic conception of personhood: one person who is distinct and independent, with very solid boundaries. He thinks that being bound to digital networks and devices makes us less human, less empathetic. Yet if we think about Haraway and Halberstam, the cyborg has the potential to disrupt dualistic thinking because of its porous boundaries. One important aspect from Haraway that we discussed was her belief in the cyborg’s ability to choose affinities, rather than be bound by older systems of nuclear/patriarchal families. (Interesting, too, that the Louis CK piece is prompted by his understanding of how parents should handle social and mobile media.)
We also talked about our own attachment to devices and how we use them, and we segued into some of the pieces about work by talking about the way that mobile media is increasingly blurring the boundaries between labor and leisure. We’re going to pick back up on that in our next class–on Oct 17. I can’t wait.