Texts for KASK seminar ‘Frank with Frankenstein’ 2018-2019

1: introduction (February 8)
overview of texts – planning of sessions – ‘Dialogues with Machines’ research project

2: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (February 15)
Chris Baldick (1987), “In Frankenstein’s Shadow; Myth, Monstrosity and Nineteenth-century Writing”, Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Chapter 3, “The Monster Speaks”, pp. 30-62
Appendix, “The Plot of Frankenstein Summarized”, pp. 199-204

Elizabeth Nitchie (1953), “Mary Shelley, Author of ‘Frankenstein'”, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Appendix IV, “The Stage History of Frankenstein”, pp. 218-231

We will focus on Chapter 3 of Baldick and the Stage History of Frankenstein. The plot summary is handy to read if you have not read the original Frankenstein.

3: An Example of Transhumanism in the Wild (February 22)

Hans Moravec (1988), “Mind Children, The Future of Robot and Human Intelligence”, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Chapter 4, “Grandfather Clause”, pp. 100-124
Chapter 6, “Breakout”, pp. 147-159

We will focus on Chapter 4. Chapter 6 is for the courageous.

4: Technology is an Unstoppable Force that Will Eat Everything (March 1)

Jacques Ellul (1964). “The Technological Society”. New York: Vintage Books.
(originally published as: Jacques Ellul (1954). La Technique: L’Enjeu du siècle. Paris: Armand Colin.)
Part of Chapter 2, “Characteristics of Modern Technique”, pp. 79-116.

5: Technological Logic is a Social Logic that is Well Hidden (March 8)

David Noble (1984). “Forces of Production, A Social History of Industrial Automation”, New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
the Preface, pp. xi-xv
parts of Chapter 7, “The Road not Taken”, pp. 144-152 and pp. 190-192
parts of the Epilogue, “Another Look at Progress”, pp. 324-326 and pp. 333-353

6: Frankenstein as a Parable about Humans and Technology (March 15)

Langdon Winner (1977). “Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought.” Boston: MIT Press.

Chapter 7, “Complexity and the Loss of Agency”, pp. 279-305
Chapter 8, “Frankenstein’s Problem” pp. 306-335

7: Posthumanism: We are all Monsters (March 29)

N. Katherine Hayles (2017). “Unthought, The Power of the Cognitive Unconscious.” University of Chicago Press.
Prologue, “Transforming How We See The World”, pp. 1-5
Chapter 5, “Cognitive Assemblages: Technical Agency and Human Interactions”, pp. 115-141

8: On the Difficulty of Distinguishing Between Humans and Nonhumans (April 5)

Bruno Latour (2017). “Facing Gaia, Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime”, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Second Lecture, “How not to (de-)animate Nature”, pp. 56-95
(these are ebook pages)

Joost Rekveld