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American gadgets: cybernetics, consumer electronics, and twentieth-century us fiction

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Title: American gadgets: cybernetics, consumer electronics, and twentieth-century us fiction
Author(s): Simeone, Michael P.
Director of Research: Markley, Robert
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Markley, Robert
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Nelson, Cary; Schaffner, Spencer; Basu, Anustup; Mandell, Laura
Department / Program: English
Discipline: English
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): cybernetics posthumanism american literature electronics gadgets cyberpunk media studies new media digital humanities postwar literature informatics
Abstract: Challenging the argument that liberal humanism faces extinction in the face of ubiquitous digital technologies, my dissertation analyzes the ways in which consumer electronics reinscribe the human subject as a privileged category in the information age. Through spaces like the Matrix, Windows 7, or even the single row of play controls on a cassette deck, gadgets preserve the concept of human autonomy by yoking personal entertainment with technical knowledge, agency, citizenship, and individuality. In American postwar fiction and film, gadgets serve powerful functions that allow authors such as Thomas Pynchon, William S. Burroughs, Neal Stephenson, Pat Cadigan, and Richard Powers to explore the complexities of humankind’s responses to technological and digital innovation
Issue Date: 2011-05-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/24244
Rights Information: copyright 2011 Michael Simeone
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-25
Date Deposited: 2011-05
 

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