Cyborgs in the garden: tales of Iden in Kage Baker's Company Series

Honey, Tania (2014) Cyborgs in the garden: tales of Iden in Kage Baker's Company Series. In: Honey, Tania, (ed.) Imachine: there is no I in meme. Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 99-112.

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Abstract

Within feminist cyborg theories and science fiction the cyborg can represent a shift in social and political ideas signifying the move from universal dualistic concepts to fluid and multiple notions of subjectivity. This shift significantly highlights the contemporary concern with the transformation from human to posthuman. As many theorists have pointed out, our technologically saturated experiences can often be read in terms of science fiction (SF) reality, where the schism between fiction and reality is blurred. I would further argue that science fiction can assist approaches to the technological sublime as it often adumbrates the social and political implications of anxieties surrounding technology and closely examines, and challenges, concepts of what it is to be human. Read in conjunction with other chapters in this section, this chapter explores this posthuman condition and emerging visions of humanity through the lens of a science fiction novel written towards the end of the 201h century with reference to the cyborg theorist, Donna Haraway' s concepts of how the cyborg motif may be utilised to reconfigure identity and subjectivity in a posthuman world. Kage Baker's 'Company Series', a collection of narratives that centre upon immortal cyborgs, can be examined through the lens of feminist cyborg and SF theory. This chapter will examine the first novel in this series, In the Garden of Iden (1 997) 1 and discuss how it may contribute to the emergent discourse of 'cyborg' identity and engage with current theoretical perspectives of subjectivity. The chapter will focus on the novel's protagonist, Mendoza, an immortal cyborg woman placed in sixteenth century England to breed and collect rare botanic specimens to take back to the future. Baker's narrative highlights feminist concerns of spatial and temporal displacement, alienation, and systems of representation concerned with gender identity and cyborg implications. Importantly, this chapter will extrapolate, from an analysis of Mendoza, the interrogations of cultural/textual production that the figure of the cyborg promotes (or perhaps facilitates) in resistant and oppositional paradigms. Furthermore, it will outline how, with respect to the matters outlined in other chapters of this book, interests in the posthuman condition can be read and interpreted within science fiction.

Item ID: 38457
Item Type: Book Chapter (Creative Work)
Keywords: cyberculture; cyberspace; science fiction; Australian literature; north Queensland author; cyborgs; feminist theory; Kage Baker; Garden of Iden
Additional Information:

This chapter was also published as the following (which can be accessed from the link in the Related URLs field): Honey, Tania (2012) Cyborgs in the garden: tales of Iden in Kage Baker's Company Series. In: Unveiling the Posthuman, pp. 59-66. From: 6th Global Conference Visions of Humanity in Cyberculture, Cyberspace and Science Fiction, 12-14 July 2011, Mansfield College of Oxford, UK.

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ISBN: 978-1-84888-290-4
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 01:51
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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