Assembling Bodies in Cyberspace: Technologies, Bodies, and Sexual Difference

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Currier, Dianne. "Assembling Bodies in Cyberspace: Technologies, Bodies, and Sexual Difference." Mary Flanagan, and Austin Booth, eds. Reload: Rethinking Women + Cyberculture. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press, 2002. pp. [519]-538.[1]

From the introductory and "pointer" paragraphs (quoting our old term from rhetoric and composition courses):

Exploring the possibilities that the technologies and social spaces commonly known as cyberspace might signal for women is a vast and complex project that has generated responses across a variety of registers. For feminist respondents it means posing the same general questions that underpin all feminist investigations of technologies. That is, how are relations of power distributed across and actualized through human-technology interactions, and how do women fare in this distribution. [...] Thus to inquire as to what avenues of transformation the technologies and social spaces of cyberspace offer women is also to inquire as to the nature of those technologies, technology in general, women and man [sic: singular] — to ask how they are configured and how this has an impact on the understanding of the relations between them.

In this essay I track the formulations of technology and woman [sic: singular] as they are articulated through the operations of a particular epistemological structure — the logic of identity and associated structure of binary opposition — across the field of transformational discourses of cyberspace. Using bodies as a conduit, [I] explore how this logic gives rise to particular understandings of technologies and the modes of engagement with them that are ultimately counterproductive to the transformational claims for cyberspace being made by a range of feminists. Finally, I indicate an alternative mode of thinking technologies drawn from [Gilles] Deleuze and [Felix] Guattari which, I would claim, effects a conceptual shift that counters this problematic logic of identity. (pp. [519]-20)

Section titles in this essay:

• Identity, Difference, and Feminism
• Identity in Cyberspace: Information Minds and Bodies
• Virtual Bodies
• Gendered Bodies and Prosthetic Technologies
• Deluze and Guattari: Assembling Bodies
   Currier's Works Cited cites Gilles Deleuze's Bergsonism and Deleuze and Felix Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia.


RDE, finishing, 8Aug23