Week 11 (Nov. 8)

Instructor: Porter

Topic: Cyberpunk and the Digital Frontier

Pre-class Reading:

Brief Intro to “Cyberpunk”
“Burning Chrome” by William Gibson

Pre-class Viewing:

TED Talk: “We Are All Cyborgs Now” by Amber Case

In-class Assignment: Come prepared to discuss the readings. Keep the following questions in mind:

  • Why does Gibson structure the his narrative the way he does? That is, what connections can we draw between the way he tells his story and the world he describes?
  • If the spaces we inhabit (at least in part) define our identity, what spaces do each of the characters inhabit and how do those spaces both define and limit them?
  • In what ways is Gibson’s cyberpunk world like the world we inhabit? In what ways different?
  • What are the digital frontiers in “Burning Chrome”?
  • Who is a cyborg in this story? (think beyond the obvious)?
  • In what ways are we cyborgs?
  • Do you agree with Case’s assertion that we are all cyborgs now?
  • Do you/we live at a similar digital frontier?

Blog Assignment: Due Tuesday, 11/13 by 4:00 pm

Create your own cyberpunk character. Details should include the space/geography that best defines him or her; His or her relationship to the matrix; goals and aspirations; relationship to the law (remember the punk part); etc.


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