3.17.10 Lit 121 Dawn , Day 2 Klarr presentation Bodily Diffusions: Externalizations of Womb-Space in 20 th Century Literature and Culture Reproduction in 20 th c. science fiction -important in considering what ? s at stake in the Transhumanist argument -increased preoccupation with reproduction -becoming externalized Male authors deal with the womb as an external thing; a womb-less society as dystopian; A Brave New World -reproduction occurs externally [matrix and outside wombs] -self-replication through cloning [pod people] - The Blob -monstrous afterbirth covered in the fluids? Female authors treats the womb-less society much different: utopi an society -especially 1970s during feminist sexual movement- The Female Man : parthenogenesis: two unfertilized eggs, two complete set sof chromosomes. One set is expelled during fertilization, but an electric of chemical shock can make the egg develop as if fertilized and retain the extra set. The resulting embryos usually die within days but stem cells can be extracted if they survive long enough. Ectogenesis, mechanical breeders The Handmaid ? s Tale : women reduced by the gov ? t to the womb, forced to act as breeders Alien reproduction [X-files, Dawn] -the alien baby--monstrosity, obscene [fear of pregnancy ending badly?] If there is an increasing interest in reproduction in 20 th c sci fi, and if it is becoming externalized , is there some common impulse to do so among authors? Yes -starts with nuclear bomb [nuclear annihilation is on the horizon, 50s and 60s] The bomb is a threat to the body and the survival of the human race Dr. Bloodmoney - Philip K. Dick -girl has brothe r inside of her,talking to her, wants escape. Parents are having sex when the bomb goes off. -biologically scramble us to produce monstrosity -are we still concerned with the bomb? Ar e we in the state of mind the writers of the Cold War were? Medical Science Pre-20c.:the womb is not visualized. It cannot be seen. The 20 th c. gave us the ability to gaze in , if you will. The ultrasound! [1950s] US and Japan the most aggressive countries pursuing this technology. Interesting, especially considering that they are linked by the nuclear bomb Control of Life: we have come to the point in the 20 th c. that we can effectively control life [immortal super babies? Not yet. Way to go LIFE.] Then: conception begins to take place outside of the body: test tube babie s [70s] [In Vitro Fertilization] Earth v. Flying Saucers Architectural forms produced during the 50s and 60s -idea that there is this shared impulse going on. -Womb is being re-specialized during the post-WWII years -spaces that function as according to the womb :self sustaining; cannot leave until the end, ready to -Carl Jung: the archetypes. Mother archetype: anything that functions as mother-ish [things reminiscent of the womb ? .like the flying saucer!] -The spaceship [the Enterprise particularly]--func tioning as womb. You cannot get off; has its own homeostatic system. Self-contained, incubating On Earth: womb spaces -enclosed shopping malls-fit tons of people in, collective. Meant to house a transient population [social incubator ? .preteens, middle sc hool?]; controlled climates, appear first in suburban areas, not cities. Develops its own ecology: trees, plants, [trapped birds? XD], vents and fans to maintain ? bodily ? temperature...bringing the outside in, and it wants to keep you in as long as possibl e -fallout shelters-extremely personalized, meant to house one family; historically-specific phenomenon [Cuban Missile Crisis] National shelter policy, pamphlets released [we see it a bit today with basements and such as sheltering] JFK speech, July 25, 1 961..LIFE: How You Can Survive Fallout. The key part to a shelter: a shield to deflect radiation. [like cellular membrane?]
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