Jul 23, 2024  
2005-2006 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2005-2006 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

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CLL 182 - (LT) Robot Dreams: Artificial and Human Identities in Literature and Popular Culture

In this course, we will trace the issues of mechanization and artificial intelligence in literature and popular culture from the industrial revolution through the age of the Internet and the “hive mind” of rave music. What is the proper response to the possibility if the “dehumanization” of individual identity and mass culture? In attempting to answer this question, writers often find themselves asking what is really human, and how the natural can be effectively distinguished from the manufactured. We will discuss both the resistance to technology and the often difficult embrace of it, reading authors such as Mary Shelley, E.T.A. Hoffman, Karel Capek, Franz Kafka, Stanislaw Lem and William Gibson. We will watch films (Metropolis, Blade Runner, The Matrix and A.I.) that make specific reference to the literary readings of the course, comparing and contrasting them with their source material. We will also examine the topic of false or manufactured identities in cyberspace as a variation on the theme of artificial intelligence.

Prerequisites & Notes

Credits: 3 s.h.

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