English 165LB: Literature & Biotechnology (W11)

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Syllabus

Week 1
January 4: Introduction
January 6: Class canceled (MLA conference)

Week 2: Data made flesh
January 11: William Gibson, Neuromancer + Blade Runner (clips shown in lecture this week)
January 13: William Gibson, Neuromancer

Week 3: Technologies of reproduction
January 18: Steve Tomasula, VAS: An Opera in Flatland
January 20: Steve Tomasula, VAS: An Opera in Flatland

Weeks 4-5: Singularity
January 25: Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
January 27: Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
February 1: Caryl Churchill, A Number
February 3: Gattaca [MIDTERM PAPERS DUE]

Weeks 6: Tissue economies
February 8: Manjula Padmanabhan, Harvest
February 10: Catherine Waldby and Robert Mitchell, “The Laws of Mo(o)re” [pdf file]

Week 7: Ethics & responsibility
February 15: Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake
February 17: Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake

Week 8-9a: Experimentation
February 22: Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake
February 24: Eduardo Kac, GFP Bunny + Marta de Menezes, Nature? + CAE, Molecular Invasion (book review by McKenzie Wark)
+++++Recommended: GFP | “Cross Hare: Hop and Glow” (Boston Globe; 2001) | Kac, Natural History of the Enigma (“Edunia”) | OneTree Project | Human Skin Cultivation (Natalie Jermijenko & Heath Bunting; Biotech Hobbyist project) | Bioart @ We make money not art | Bioart @ Networked_Performance

March 1: Michael Specter, “The Pharmageddon Riddle” (New Yorker; April 2000)
+++++Recommended: Carol Yoon, “Altered Salmon Lead the Way to the Dinner Plate, but Rules Lag” (NY Times; May 2000) | Anthony Trewavas, “Much Food, Many Problems: A New Agriculture” (Nature; November 1999) | “Have You Eaten Your Genetically Modified Food Today?” (Wired; September 2007) | “Monsanto’s Feeding Frenzy” (Harper’s; April 2000) | “GM Salmon May Go on Sale in US After Public Consultation” (Guardian; August 2010)

Week 9b-10: Extreme makeovers
March 3: Robert Venditti, Surrogates
March 8: Michel Foucault, Care of the Self (“Cultivation of the Self”) [pdf file] and Andrew O’Hagan, “Short Cuts” (LRB; April 2010)
March 10: Orlan + Stelarc
++++++Recommended: “Orlan’s Art of Sex and Surgery” (Guardian; July 2009); “Orlan: Is it Art?” (Art in America; February 1993); Orlan on Carnal Art; Digitized Bodies entry on Orlan | “So you think you’ve had it up to ear with modern art…” (Observer; 2003)

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