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technology, media studies, film studies, humanism, postindustrialism, hyperindustrialism
What might the current popularity and ubiquity of superhero film say about contemporary culture? This course will explore three possible implications of this question: (1) that the superhero genre reflects a moment in our species’ history of reconciling the human being-technology relation, which we shall view as a complex system constituted by our productive relations to material and ideological tools and their ensembles, the needs and aspirations that determine how we conceptualize and activate these relations, and the technically rationalized social reality that is their result, (2) that this ongoing process of reconciliation evinces, at once, the inherently technical character of human being and human character of technology, and (3) that the superhero genre responds to our real conditions of existence in terms of the virtual and thus opens us to new possibilities for our species’ ways of being in the world. We’ll consider these ideas specifically in relation to notions and practices of body and self, the machine and machinic consciousness, cybernetics, surveillance, and social modes of production, reproduction, control, and resistance.
Southward, Christopher, "Course Syllabus (W17 Online) COLI 211M: "Superhero Film and Contemporary Culture"" (2017). Comparative Literature Faculty Scholarship. 19.
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