City Tech, Fall 2016

Category: Project Progress (Page 1 of 2)

Project Progress #2: The Importance of the Citations

Well, so far after researching for my project, which is the connection between the androids and African Americans, the sources that I found were proven to be very informative. After reading some of sources I found, they appear to be a satisfaction for my project. Some sources are considered to be strong to my main topic, while others are just either sub point or background info. For that matter, I shall go over what these citations are and why do they prove to be useful to me.

MLA Citations:

1st Source: A Brief History of Jim Crow.” Constitutional Rights Foundation, http://www.crf-usa.org/black-history-month/a-brief-history-of-jim-crow

This citation talks about how black people have been gone through their lives over the Jim Crow Laws. It discuss how the law started and what it effects to the white and black people. It is said that it was a bad experience for the black people as they were not treated the same as the white people were treated. The black people tried their hardest of fighting back against segregation, but as they kept on going, their situation keeps on getting worst for them. This source is useful to me because it emphasizes the connection between androids and African Americans. In which case, this citation shall be part of my main point.

 

2nd Source: Bosch, Torie. “The Android Head of Philip K. Dick.” The Slate Book Review, 1 June 2012, http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2012/06/philip_k_dick_robot_an_android_head_of_the_science_fiction_author_is_lost_forever_.html

This citation is about a creation of the author’s head which could possibly lead to a future where androids do what humans do on their lives. Unfortunately, there was a graduate student that had disagreed upon androids becoming like humans. He would give reasons why the androids shouldn’t do exactly what humans always do and he still wouldn’t be able to trust them as well. What makes this source useful is that the fact people don’t really trust androids which is similar to white people not trusting black people. Citation like this would consider to be a counter-argument.

 

3rd Source: Lavender III, Isiah. Race in American Science Fiction. Indiana University Press, 2011

This source is an informative book that talks about how some Science Fiction novels are representing racism. It goes over some of the Science Fiction key terms and how they got the idea of these words because of racial implementation. It gives the idea to the people that some characters ,that are in Science Fiction, are imaginations of who they really are. It can be useful in my presentation because the word “race” is an important term for the connection between androids and African Americans. Also, since race is involved with Science Fiction, that means there is a representation with the androids. Therefore, this source is considered to be background info.

 

4th Source: Dinello, Daniel. Technophobia!: Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology. University of Texas Press, 2005

This source is somewhat similar to the 3rd source; however, the only difference is that it talks out how the androids were enslaved. It discusses on a certain text where androids were forced to do exactly as what the creator orders them to do. It is the way how androids were treated before they escaped from their creator. This is useful because blacks were also enslaved. They have experience the same problems of being enslaved as the androids were. This citation is also to be a background info.

 

5th Source: Burks, Robin. “How AMC’s ‘Humans’ Breaks The Sci-Fi Mold: A Look Ahead To The Season Finale.” Tech Times, 15, August, 2015  http://www.techtimes.com/articles/76705/20150815/how-amcs-humans-breaks-the-sci-fi-mold-a-look-ahead-to-the-season-finale.htm

This article discuss about a show series and why this is so important to Science Fiction. It goes over about androids getting their chances of experiencing humanity thanks to their creator. The article shows that if the androids kept on learning reality, people would then that androids are not terrifying as they think they are. This source is useful because it gives the androids the opportunity to prove themselves that they are not dangerous. Similar to where as the African Americans, they proved to the white people that they are not a threat to them. For this source, it is a sub point to the main point.

 

6th Source: Nishime, LeiLani. “The Mulatto Cyborg: Imagining a Multiracial Future.” Cinema Journal, 2005

Finally, in this source, it talks about cyborgs and their mixture of racial. The article goes over the details where the cyborgs are like white and black ancestry. In other words, people can imagine cyborgs being part of a world where there is a race between them and humans. This is useful because when it comes to race, there is a big difference between the two people of who they are. Just like with the cyborgs and humans we discussed before, or for the African Americans, you would have a race of white and black people. This is considered to be a background info.

 

Project Progress Blog #2

List of Sources that I found useful for the Research project:
1) Cipera, Kelly. “Defining the Genre: Military Science Fiction | Fandomania.” Fandomania, 25 May 2013, fandomania.com/defining-the-genre-military-science-fiction/.
This source presents a definitive meaning of the sub-genre/term “Military Science Fiction,” while providing multiple examples of works relative to the subgenre. The sub-genre is essentially about the military, which coincidentally involves battles that include the military, and they usually revolve around a futuristic scenery. However, cipera provides a more flexible definition of the term in the sense that it provides a deeper meaning to it. For instance, how works of the subgenre present info on current events, or how individuals use works as a way to form an actual vision of the U.S. Military.

I plan on using this source for the sole purpose of background information, as it presents a very insightful and very thorough definition of the term, “Military Science Fiction.” It is important that others understand, to a good extent, the meaning of the term as it is a definitive core on the focus of my research.

2) Knight, Will. “US Military Sets Laser PHASRs to Stun.” New Scientist. N.p., 7 Nov. 2005. Web. 28 Nov. 2016. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8275-us-military-sets-laser-phasrs-to-stun/
This source presents a reason why laser rifles were set to stun. To put it simply, they were too powerful. The U.S. government developed a much weaker, non-lethal, version of the laser rifle which is said to dazzle targets. In addition, The Personnel Halting and Simulation Response (PHASR) rifle was developed at the Air Force Research and is said to be useful in terms of temporarily blinding suspects that tend to violate military roadblocks. This rifle was also developed in order to remove properties of permanent harm, which was a result from safety concerns.

This source will aid on supporting a claim relative to limiting the level of harm done by weapons that were shown in works of Science Fiction in real world applications. The laser rifles are obviously a very popular weapon in the Science Fiction world, so when the weapon was first developed, there were permanent side effects that violated moral values of the targets and the wielder. This source can be used to counteract the laser rifles shown in the film Star Wars, where laser rifles are very lethal.

3) Knefel, John. “How the Pentagon Is Building the Super Soldiers of Tomorrow.” Inverse, 7 Jan. 2016, www.inverse.com/article/9988-how-the-pentagon-is-building-the-enhanced-super-soldiers-of-tomorrow.
The U.S. military is planning on developing enhanced human operations. In other words, the development of super soldiers. The plan to implement soldiers of this caliber was due to the news that enemies of the U.S. are planning on developing super soldiers that were inspired by the film Captain America. The process on the production of super soldiers by DARPA, will allow soldiers to keep their initial state-of-mind, but they will be physically enhanced. There is also discussion on therapies post-traumatic stress, where DARPA aims to remove trauma that soldiers suffer from traumatic missions.

I plan on using this source for one of my claims on the development of the super soldier. This source will provide useful information on how the capabilities of human U.S. soldiers will be physically enhanced and how it will be beneficial. I can also use this source with the film, Universal Soldiers, which demonstrated the capabilities of super soldiers and how they were cured of their post-traumatic stress.

4) “Modern and Future U.S. Military and Civilian Aircraft.” Military Factory – Military Weapons – Aircraft, Tanks, Vehicles, Artillery, Navy Warships and Guns throughout History. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.
This source discusses the production and future production of U.S. Air Force jets, planes, UAV’s, etc. How aircrafts play a huge role in the effectiveness of military operations and how the airborne process should essentially bring an individual from point A to point B. This website also demonstrates images on future operations. Some that can be seen from films of Science Fiction.

I will be using this source for one of my claims that distinguishes the difference between offensive and defensive prowess from military operations. How they are different, and how some of these aircrafts were developed. For what purpose exactly.

5) “The U.S. Military Has Pain Rays and Stun Guns. So Why Aren’t They Being Used?” The Week – All You Need to Know about Everything That Matters. N.p., 2014. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.
This source discusses the U.S. military’s decision to use non-lethal weapons and why they were created but not actually used. This source also presents some of the most strange, as in out of the ordinary, non-lethal weapons that the military has to offer.

I plan on using this source for two claims. The first one is already mentioned about the limitations of weapons. The other claim I will be using this source on is the production of non-lethal weapons and how they were implemented from Science Fiction works. This raised the question: Is there a complicated moral issue that prevented military personnel from using them?

6) Hodge, Nathan, “Navy’s Drone Death Ray Takes out Targets.” CNN. Cable News Network, 2010. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.
This source discusses the U.S. Navy’s desires to implement a sort of “Death Ray” that can be used to provide more defenses for their ships. However, these lasers tend to lose strength after traveling a certain distance which can reduce the effectiveness of the death ray nonetheless. This weapon is essentially an upgrade from the Phalanx that the navy already has in their possession.

This source will be used for one claim involving the defectiveness of attempting to create a weapon that has been shown to be deadly from Military Science Fiction films.

7) Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Dir. George lucas. Lucasfilm. 1999. Film.
This film demonstrates a wide variety of weapons and such that are demonstrated by a collective military group. This is the essential point of focus that will be analyzed. I plan on comparing some of the scenes within this film that will provide a good support for the secondary sources that are listed.

8) Universal Soldier (1992), Dir. Roland Emmerich. StudioCanal, 1992. Film.
This film is relative to the stereotypical idea of a super soldier. Meaning that their capabilities as genetically modified human beings are displayed, with some side effects. I plan on using this source to further expand on the idea of super soldiers based on some scenes that demonstrate their enhanced human capabilities.

Introduction
There are many parallels that are presented between weapons from works of Science Fiction and real-world military weapons. The discussion on these parallels and how they were implemented by the U.S. military, exemplifies how they were benefited in terms of advanced offensive weaponry or defenses. The Science Fiction sub-genre, Military Science Fiction, exposes many examples in terms as to how Science Fiction works influence the production and research of military weaponry. Military Science Fiction is essentially about the military, which coincidentally involves battles that include the military, and they usually revolve around a futuristic scenery. Most of the influence is drawn from films, where the exposure of an exotic (out of the ordinary) weapon can appear implementable by weapon engineers. The design process is then applied, which will determine the compatibility of the weapon researched and its capabilities. What normally disrupts the production of a weapon, is whether the weapon can cause permanent harm towards targets or if they are just catastrophic in terms of lethality.

Claims

– In real-world military applications, weapons implemented from Military Science Fiction works are limited in terms of level of harm. Here I will explain how and why.
– The development of super soldiers is the involvement of enhancing human capabilities; can this be morally correct? Here I will explain pros, cons and why this development is or is not morally correct.
– The offensive and defensive prowess from the military can be derived from their aircraft development, which were influenced by Military Science Fiction films. Here I will use the aircraft development and their development in the near future.
– In real-world military applications, the development of non-lethal weapons is proved to be ineffective in terms of use during a mission.  Why are they not used, yet they are developed?
– Attempting to implement deadly weapons from Military Science Fiction films is proved to be defective in the real world. Discuss how physics can limit the production of these weapons.
– Conclusion

Reflection
The process on finding additional secondary sources was a bit tedious, in the sense that most of it was repetitive. However I was able to dig deeper within the content of Military Science Fiction and was able to uncover a good amount of sources that will prove to be effective when drafting the research project essay. Some points of focus that I worked on was defining my key terms, which Is something that was discussed during the individual conference with Professor Belli. I developed my claims based on the focus of my research, which I believe will be supported with an efficient amount of details from the sources I have gathered. The next steps for me is to work on the presentation in order to showcase the current research that I have done, and hopefully receive some last minute feedback. Then comes the write-up.

Questions
Are my initial claims sufficient for the write-up? Or Should I provide more claims?

Secondary Sources and Progress

In the process of doing my presentation, I was able to put together ideas that would later formulate my final essay. Overall, my confidence grew since finding out how well I improved in my topic proposal. Because of this, moving forward I’m able to focus my research on post-apocalyptic behavior as my main subject, with connected research that will strengthen my overall paper. Still, my concern is keeping my research relevant to my topic. I know these coming weeks will be crucial in creating an excellent essay. Therefore, I will utilize the time I have by writing drafts, and carefully sort out my many resources from relevant and non-relevant. Another issue I’ve been having is that most of my research has to do with zombies and the zombie apocalypse. Now I understand when post-apocalyptic themes come to mind, zombies are the first thought that people seem to gravitate towards. Additionally, The Walking Dead, a show focused heavily on the zombie apocalypse serves as my primary source. However, that isn’t the direction I want go on, as I want to focus on people and people’s behavior in a post-apocalyptic.

Secondary sources:

The Chronophers – Psychology of the Apocalypse

This article examines the point of view of the writer’s psyche and opinion of surviving the Apocalypse. This writer values morality and integrates ethical research test done by institutes to determine the psychology of good and evil.

Wilderness Survival – Psychology of Survival

This article focuses on tactics needed to live off the land. Also, the writer gives advice on the traits needed to survive the wild

Richardson, R. Offgrid Survival – Psychology of Survival: How’s your Ability to Survive

The writer identifies the mental toughness and mindset  that will ensure survival in a chaotic setting. also gives tips on the developing a strong mindset, us

Psychology Today – The Moral Molasses of The Walking Dead

This therapist gives an in depth analysis on the changed mentality on the characters of the walking dead, as a result of traumatic stress. He also relates the characteristics of society and how it plays a role in the walking dead character development.

Project Progress #2 Gynoids: Female Robots and Their Impact in Today’s Society.

 

Useful Sources

Wosk, Julie. My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves. Rutgers University Press, 2015.

The book talks about that ideology of men in their attempt to construct the perfect woman. Yet as technology has advanced over the past century, the figure of the lifelike manmade woman has become nearly ubiquitous, popping up in everything from Bride of Frankenstein, Weird Science to The Stepford Wives to Blade Runner. Julie Wosk takes the readers to a fascinating tour through the land of artificial women, revealing the array of cultural fantasies and fears they embody.  My Fair Ladies considers how female automatons have been represented as objects of desire in fiction and how “living dolls” have been manufactured as real-world fetish objects. But it also examines the many works in which the “perfect” woman turns out to be artificial and becomes a source of uncanny horror and destruction.

Melzer, Patricia. Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought. University of Texas Press. p. 204.

Daratto, Laura. “Bot Looks Like a Lady. Should Robots Have a Gender”. http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/02/robot_gender_is_it_bad_for_human_women.html

The article focuses in the debate of whether the robotic technologies used in today’s reality should have a gender. Many researchers suggest that what society needs is strong female role models in the robotic variety. And the people certainly agree as they said that female-appearing robots are more helpful in tasks such as caring for the elderly and teaching children-both fields mostly assigned to women. It also explains how these humanoid robots can be used as an incentive for other women to become more engaged in technological fields.

Conrad, Dean. “Women in Science Fiction Film: A Viewer”. http://www.deanconrad.com/writing/sfflists/wisff_viewer.htm. Web.

The article presents a list of films that help with an overview of the genre itself and indicate women’s roles within it. The films are taken from the areas of female representation, and it gives a fair indication of how the female has been presented throughout the history of science fiction film. They tell the readers something about the state of play, the behind the film debate and historical context documents.

Gee, Tabi Jackson. “Female robots: Why this ‘Scarlett Johansson’ bot is more dangerous than you think”. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/female-robots-why-this-scarlett-johansson-bot-is-more-dangerous/ . Web

This article describes how female robots have been brought from science fiction to real life as it presents the robotic creation which resembles to the famous actress Scarlett Johansson. It discusses the issues of creating female robots in real life, as well as how this types of robots show stereotypes that contribute with the objectification of women.

Steve, Rose. “Ex Machina and sci-fi’s obsession with sexy female robots” https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jan/15/ex-machina-sexy-female-robots-scifi-film-obsession

The article discusses how sci-fi films have become fascinated with showing the female robot/android/cyborg in the form of a sensual woman. It explores the themes of the objectification of women and how the opposite gender sees these machines a relationship companions and sexual devices, rather than helpful female robots.

Zuin Lidia. “A brief history of men who build female robots”. https://versions.killscreen.com/a-brief-history-of-men-who-build-female-robots/

Weiss, Suzannah. “We talked to an expert about the pros and cons of sex robots” http://www.complex.com/life/2016/03/sex-robots.

Lin, Patrick. “Relationships with Robots: Good or Bad for Humans”. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/patricklin/2016/02/01/relationships-with-robots-good-or-bad-for-humans/#6acefe3f291e.html.

Klein, BJ. College Weekend…a Strange, True Story. Darkerotichorror.

Melzer, Patricia. Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought. University of Texas Press. p. 204.

Simple Complexities. “Feminism and the Figure of the Fembot”. https://writingwithrobin.com/tag/fembot/htm. Web.

Reflection

The meeting with Professor Belli to revise the draft of my proposal was definitely productive and helpful. It did not only help me but it gave me more ideas in the different ways to tackle my project in order to make it more concise and understandable. Some of the feedback I obtained from the meeting was to gather more background information about the science fiction term “gynoid” also known as “fembot”. While doing some research on how the term has been introduced in the science fiction genre, I discovered that before the term gynoid was popularized in the genre, the oldest female specific term utilized to refer the female robotic form was known as Robotess and it was first introduced in 1921. The connections of the term with the science fiction term “gynoid” were shown as in many of the famous films and books, the authors wanted to used woman-appearing machine and this is shown in early films such as Metropolis, the Stepford Wives, The Perfect Woman, Blade Runner, and others. I also answered the questions if these female-appearing robots can bring a positive or negative impact to society. Additionally I also found out that they can also be beneficial to society as it can be used as an incentive tool for other women and make them become more engaged in the technological fields.

The progress blog of dreams!

Hey again! Currently my Archive project seems to be headed somewhere. While I am not signed of just yet I feel I have a more understandable research question. My Goal is to understand how Science Fiction film uses dream like sequences in order to discuss philosophical views on reality and perception. Some things I have to clarify beforehand is the differences within simulation, dreaming and how they relate. My research will eventually show that in Sci-Fi film there are examples of characters who suffer from a limited perception of reality due to simulation and dreaming.

The five featured films that will serve as my primary source will be “Avatar”, “The Matrix”, “Inception”, ”The Lathe of Heaven” and “Terminator 2 Judgment Day”. These films all show examples of dream sequences and dream like sequences involving simulation. The first part of this research project will involve a lot of research of my secondary sources, primarily “Dream, Vision or Fantasy?” and “Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle between Art and Science. Jefferson”.  While studying I hope to further my understanding on how these films use visual and sound elements to juxtapose different parts of the film. I plan on researching the undertones and metaphorical use of these specific scenes in order to better understand what is being conveyed.

The second part of my film involves using all of my research in order to better understand many terms like vision, dreams, simulation, reality, and images and begin understanding why humans suffer from having a limited perception of reality. I will connect my finding to my featured primary sources in order to understand how they connect to the many philosophical questions on what it means to be alive, simulated whether its false or real. After this part of my project I and any viewer should have an understanding on how science fiction features the many philosophical issues of reality perception.

Work Cited

Avatar. Dir. James Cameron. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2010.

Inception. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Warner Home Video, 2010. Film.

Matrix. Dir. Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. Warner Home Video, 1999. Film.

Terminator 2 Judgment Day. Dir. James Cameron. 1991. Film.

The Lathe of Heaven. Prod. Fred Barzyk and David R. Loxton. PBS, 1980.

These will all be my primary sources for when looking into what I want to   research specifically. They are all Science Fiction films, and hold many scenes  with dream sequences.

Rabin, Staton. “Dream, Vision, or Fantasy?” Script Magazine. Scriptmag.com, 7 March 2012. Web.

This is an article from script magazine. the writer Staton Rabin has allot of experience working for Warner brothers and other big producing companys, she also has a good understanding on how dream sequences work in scripts.

She closely analyzes the tropes of Dreams, Visions and fantasy, which helps me find the distinction between those two. My project looks at allot of dream sequences, but not every example shown is an actual dream, therefore I must     first begin understanding the different types of dreams in films. Staton also explain the roles many of these dreams have in order to look at how they affect a     films narrative.

Baudrillard, Jean, and Arthur B. Evans. “Simulacra and Science Fiction (Simulacres Et Science-fiction).” JSTOR.org. N.p., Nov. 1991. Web.

In this article found it informs us on the many definitions involved with Simulacra and or simulation. The article makes the connections to dreaming, simulation and      Cyber perception.

This article can further my understanding on how science fiction explores perception of reality. But instead of only focusing on the dreamer, it takes a more philosophical role explaining the perspective of just being alive, and the purposes of simulation.

Bukatman, Scott. Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction. Durham: Duke UP, 1993. Print.

This book explores many concepts of science fiction, it goes into different movies, settings and characteristics. There is an emphasis in the book describing the perspective of cyborgs, robots and cyberspace.

This book can help me broaden my horizon in perspective so that I’m not focusing entirely on the dreaming aspect, but also how dreaming is a form of living and experiencing.

Schneider, Susan. Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Print.

This book here goes into the many details of philosophical connections on understanding reality through science fiction. While reading the table of content you see that the author has made many connections to Cartesian theory and the metaphysics.

This book can further strengthen my arguments when I try to understand how sci-fi is a modern day retelling of many philosophical ideas.

Grimshaw, Mark. The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014. Print.

This book takes on the approach of trying to decipher what it means to live inside of another realty. It touches upon philosophical views while making its own claims, for example in some paragraphs it argues how living in a virtual reality can be viewed as the same as living outside in a normal realm.

This book here will help me further my argument of having a limited perception of reality and how characters in sci-fi cope with it.

Halpern, Leslie. Dreams on Film: The Cinematic Struggle between Art and Science. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003. Print

This book makes many claims on a variety of Science fiction films, showing interesting points in the narrative and characterization of various films.

This book will allow me to observe various films and how they are analyzed allowing me to do more precise research, also some of my primary sources are briefly mentioned giving me more insight.

Project Progress Blog 2.0; Stronger and Better Than Ever

Sources

1) Jancovich, Mark. Defining Cult Movies: The Cultural Politics of Oppositional Taste. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2003. Print.

This source, holistically, looks into cult followings of texts ranging from many different genres and talks about the elitist mentalities that come with it. Specifically, there is a chapter that talks about Science-Fiction works and that fans claim “ownership” of these works. Trivia and knowledge of texts allow fans to claim ownership of Science-Fiction texts that they follow, both in constructing their fandom and influence on production of films.

This source is important for my topic because it helps with understanding the influence that fans have on texts. It also brings to light the idea of “cult followings” that happen from more obscure texts that aren’t as heavily marketed; which is a good comparison to make with more popular and culturally affluent Science-Fiction texts.

2) Jenkins, Henry. “Interactive Audiences? The ‘Collective Intelligence’ of Media Fans.” N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2016. <http://labweb.education.wisc.edu/curric606/readings/Jenkins2002.pdf>.

This source looks into the ways marketing has become successful via different forms of media. It talks about how there was a shift in the way companies tried to market to the consumer and the new strategies they try to implement nowadays. Companies now assume that consumers are not mindless drones, and thus companies find ways to almost trick these intelligent consumers with various appeals; like with the first example that detailed the “rogue independent” in a commercial that is ultimately led into accepting the product.

This source, though not heavily involved with Science-Fiction entirely, helps with my research because it looks into how companies view the consumer. A link can be made with the cross platform of marketing that companies employ with Science-Fiction works, like with Star Wars and their cross-platform promotion of their products (on television, physical advertisements, goods, etc.)

3) Sobchack, Vivian Carol. Screening Space: The American Science Fiction Film. New York: Ungar, 1987. Print.

This source looks into the history of Science-Fiction as a whole. It talks about the shift of the ‘poetics’ of Science-Fiction to the ‘politics’ of it; how there is a difference in the subject matter and intention of these texts. The source goes into the idea that substance and style of newer works are different than Science-Fiction previously; “…aesthetics, politics, economics, technology, and social relations are interdependent cultural phenomena”.

This source is important for my topic because it’s nice to have a broader look at the change of Science-Fiction as a genre and gives some back story in how this shift happens. There are some elements in this source that also help me out with my previous inclinations, such as that there seems to be more of a focus on working in Science-Fiction into society as a social norm, rather than trying to make a point of our society (as the ‘poetics’).

4) Stephen Brown, Robert V. Kozinets, John F. Sherry Jr. (2003) Teaching Old Brands New Tricks: Retro Branding and the Revival of Brand Meaning. Journal of Marketing: July 2003, Vol. 67, No. 3, pp. 19-33.

This source talks about the idea of “retro-branding” that a lot of different brands are going through recently. “Retro-branding” is when you facilitate updated features to old brands to try and make them more viable to newer consumers. The source compares this act of “retro-branding” with two very different examples, to make their point in how universal this idea is. Those examples are the Volkswagen New Beetle and Star Wars: Episode I. The source also brings up this concept of the “Four A’s”: Allegory (brand story), Aura (brand essence), Arcadia (idealized community), and Antinomy (brand paradox).

This source is important for my research because it introduces a new concept to my diction for this idea of revivals that seem to be happening with certain brands. It also talks about Star Wars, and how it got revitalized to fit the newer consumer, and the shift in story telling and such that came with it as a result (with the “Four A’s”).

5) Tulloch, John, and Henry Jenkins. Science Fiction Audiences: Watching Doctor Who and Star Trek. London: Routledge, 1995. Print.

This source talks about the fandom that exist in both Star Trek and Doctor Who. It goes into many reasons why there are different fan groups for the series and how each generation of this fandom is different than the last. For example, Doctor Who has multiple waves of fandom that happened as the series when on, and the source talked about 3rd Wave Doctor Who fans who are more lax with their approval of lore versus earlier fans. This source also talks about difference of demographics and their means of escape through these texts from being the ‘other’ in their own societies.

This source is important for my topic because it looks closely into fandom of two different Science Fiction texts, being able to compare and contrast the two. It also looks into both the effects this has on the evolution of the fandom and how the stories progress for each text. This will help me better understand how fans help out with heavily marketed Science-Fiction texts.

Initial Draft

1) Introduction

Science-Fiction has had it’s ups and downs throughout the years of it’s emergence. The shifts in focus and attention to the genre seems very drastic; compare Brave New World to the recent Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. This shift seems to be a result of the boon that Science-Fiction has had recently in popular culture and the marketability of these franchises. This piece will look into the effects of marketing and fandom on a text’s story and focus of intention of said text. The goal is to look into the effects consumerism (whether successful or not) has on Science-Fiction texts in the quality of the works and overall longevity of the intellectual property.

2) Main Claims

  • Talk about the affects marketing has on consumers
  • Talk about the affects of fandom that is had on Science-Fiction works
  • Merge the claims together to look into how these affects get worked into Science-Fiction works recently

Reflection

I think I’m making a lot more progress than I did last time, and it was mostly a great result of what knowing what I needed to focus on. The personal conference I had with the professor got me knowing specifically what I needed to do by the next blog, which was to find concrete general sources about my topic of Science-Fiction Commercialization. I didn’t realize that I had jumped ahead of making claims that were not grounded to actual sources yet, so it was good to know that I should be first looking at sources related to it and getting ideas from there rather than assume for myself and look for sources that satisfied my assumption.

Next Steps

My next steps include, obviously, still finding more sources and organizing my ideas into what I want to specifically talk about for my project. I know what things I still want to look for, but the next step is to look into the answers to the questions I looked to want to address. In regards to the presentation, I feel like most of the progress I did over this weekend will greatly improve my case and hopefully it will be more reflective in the way I make my presentation.

Questions

One major question is if I necessarily need to find a counter-argument for my essay and how do I go about finding it?

Progress

Browning, Gary K. Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present. Ed. Abigail Halcli and Frank Webster. London: SAGE, 2000. Print.
“Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.’, something that I found to be very useful in proving a point I was trying to make but could not really put to words in a way that sounded good. The very first thing that I was able to find that as useful even if a bit limited from what I was able to read, still looking into to see If anything else could be added from this that other sources do not show as well.

Millwee., Kyle. Kylemillwee. N.p.: n.p., Sept.-Oct. 2014. PDF.
Seems to be a short essay by student from which I took a few quotes as it shared simuler ideas to my own on the subject at hand, not the best place to for information but it was helpful in getting another source of quotes from a writer named Ursula Le Guin about her book “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,”. This was used to help support my claims about people having their own views on what is a utopia and dystopia due to what they see as happiness.

SHELTON, ROBERT. Utopia-and-dystopia. N.p.: Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, 2013. PDF.
This was one of my starting sources that I found early on and had information on many different utopian and dystopian works as well as what they showed based on their authors. It also had good examples that I used to back my claims and main objective in the paper. It had many good quotable parts such as “Some of humanity’s best thinkers and artists have, for 2,500 years, created moral compasses by distilling human wisdom (and folly) into imaginative works called utopias and dystopias” among others that helped to support the article and my own ideas. It also had a lot of the history of utopia starting from Thomas More and how his book lead onwards to others. Later sources built on this history.

Baccolini, Raffaella, and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Very modern look at utopia and dystopia in a as the author put it a “pessimistic” view. It offered a different view to what most other sources had shown in a more positive light and tone. This sorce was more personal and was a correspondents between the author and another person whom was interested in the subject. As most of the pages start with a “Dear, someone”. However this sorce was much harder to extract information from due to it not being aimed that way and was between people who understood each other better than I can understand them, still I am reading on to find more examples for counterarguments and a different view.

Grassmann, Hans, Ting Fa Margherita Chang, Mario Taverna, and Luca Iseppi. THE SOLAR AGE: UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA. HOW TO TRANSFORM GREEN WASTE EXTERNALITIES IN ENERGY AND BIOCHAR. University of Udine, Italy: Proceeding of the International Scientifical Conference. Volume III., 2014. PDF.
This was a really odd thing for me to find, here I am looking for information on utopia and dystopia in the format of book reviews, articles, books on the subject and other written works and then I find this. An argument that states the solar panels can lead to a utopia or a dystopia, this suiprised to the point that I keep reading, just to see if this was a way of hooking people into reading a long engineering paper on solar panels or a valid argument. I still do not know, I stopped after they stated to just talk about the science behind the new panels and how to use them to not lead to the downfall of humanity. This is some of their points “There would be no pollution anymore, no net production of C02, global warming would come to a hold, the energy would be de-central, for everybody, in a certain sense for free. What could be more of a utopia?
Nevertheless, Solar energy is dystopia since we have to switch to solar energy as much and as fast as possible, and this will cause us much pain and problems.
Huge industrial values will be annihilated, for instance our knowledge about internal combustion engines will lose its relevance and therefore its value – the engineers of the main car industries, who have for decades always improved the motors, will have to retire”. Like I said before this never came to my mind and it is very useful as a modern day example of technology that could lead to actual change for better or worse. This also is part of the main thing point that drives utopia and dystopia, technology and society. This can lead to a better system of energy vs what we have now that is killing our world and save it for the future however the current effect can be devastating on the world order and society.

Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.
This was really useful source for background information on the concept of utopia and dystopia, their origin, analysis of the origin and how it then devolved into a word, genre and the meaning. Here I learned about the concept of neologism and how it led to the both words being made and how it also created others like anti-utopia and satirical utopia. It also talked about why they were made and what they wished to show. Overall it is a very good source that I have used to fill in missing information from shorter sources like the ones above.

My main research topic is how people define what is a utopia and a dystopia. As with all things people created the idea of utopia and dystopia, with one being the opposite of the other. However from all the sources I have looked at there is no one set definition that everyone is happy with. That is due to the fact that as some put it “A utopia is “as you like it” not necessarily a “perfect” world just a world that is perfect in an individual’s eyes.”, therefore each person has a different take on what it is. “ Utopias and dystopia are asymmetrical concepts, akin to health and disease, whereby one persons hopeful dream is anothers dyspeptic nightmare.”, So why do so many write about a world that one or a few would ever see as a good place to be? The answer as to why people write utopian and dystopian works also varies based on the person, however for the most part it is to critic and offer ideas. As seen in one of the sources found, “Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.”. People dream of better worlds, lives, times, and conditions all their lives, the pursuit of happiness. I had also found something that was unexpected, a link to mechanical technology though a paper based on the problems posed by solar technology and how it can be used to create both a utopia and a dystopia.
(This was the best written start I had so far and the following is still being worked on, will improve and change to meet what is needed)

Following the advice given, I have found several interesting secondary sources regarding utopias and dystopias. After reading them and pulling out some key ideas and quotes, I incorporated them into a new revision. This revision is more based on what was found and has a better argument in place with points to support it. The main idea is still how people define what is utopia and dystopia based on many factors such as when, where and why. The argument that I am countering is that utopia and dystopia have a single broad definition. Now, the idea of what utopia and dystopia are has not changed to the point where it is indistinguishable from their origin to today on a base level, however as seen with many different literary works the setting and main ideas are different based on the time they were written. As technology, society and world orders changed, so did the settings of utopian and dystopian literature. Due to the fact that people would no longer feel the same impact, in some cases with books written about a vision of the world that is no longer valid to them. This is where prospective comes into play as it also changes with time and the individual. Perspective is based on understanding. Someone who has never experienced or heard of an event cannot understand its importance both in the real worlds and the fictional one. This is why history is important because it teaches the significance of past events so that they are not repeated or at least can be recognized within current once. That is also the main point of utopian and dystopian points to show how something could be positive or negative based on evolving trends that the writer has seen or is worried about seeing.
I will continue to look at the old sources found as well as new once that I’m looking for, to use as additional background and supporting arguments which will add to the paper. This will also be included in some part of the upcoming presentation.
As said before all the new information gathered will be looked at to create a cohesive presentation that will follow a similar set up in the upcoming write up. The power pint I am making will have bullet points that will be used to aid at my discussion while not being word for word that I am saying as well as having quotes from the research that I’ve done.

Still need to find a good way of writing the paper with strong topic sentences that work of the main idea. I am aware I did not show of them above, due to them still being worked on, progress is slow and I do not like showing things that are not done yet. This a problem for me, basically I cannot decide on how to format it because most of it is still up in the air. Should have a better idea after presentation is done.
Other than that, wanted to know if the sources I have are good or if some of them are not within the realm of what is allowed.

Science Fiction’s Worthy Adversary

Sources

Steven Hrotic. Religion in Science Fiction: The Evolution of an Idea and the Extinction of a Genre

Hrotic chronologically tells the metanarrative of religion in genre science fiction. Hrotic discusses the several possible inceptions of SF and how religion played a role even then. He provides summaries of various texts and evidence for certain attitudes that were prevalent in the genre at the time they were written.

Paul J Nahin. Holy Sci-Fi! Where Science Fiction and Religion Intersect

In his text, Nahin discuses philosophical and religious questions presented by other science fiction authors. In brief sections, he discusses Religions in SF, time, time travel, Jesus Christ, omniscient gods in SF, religious robots and computers that became gods in SF.

James F. McGrath. Religion and Science Fiction

McGrath edits and presents a collection of thoughts collated by several of his peers on the various intersections of theology and science fiction, not only in literature, but in film studies, history, philosophy, cultural studies and religious studies as well. The goal of the collection of essays is to bring together the various mediums approach to similar questions and provide a cohesive collection of themes and ideas on the aforementioned topic.

Adam Roberts. The History of Science Fiction

Roberts undertakes the admittedly ambitious task of telling the history of SF, or at the very least connect the dots between the modes of thought in the literary genre throughout the centuries. More importantly, he traces the genre far back to ancient Greece and tells its SF’s story up to the twenty first century.

Rudy V. Busto Relgion/Science/Fiction: Beyond the Final Frontier

Busto presents three SF short stories that promote religious speculation, as opposed to the prevalent belief among layman that religion is an antagonist to SF. He also calls into question the boundaries between SF and religion by examining Minority Literature in the genre and writings by his own students on the topic.

Robert M. Geraci. Robots and the Sacred in Science and Science Fiction: Theological Implications of Artificial Intelligence

Geraci discusses the interesting cocktail of emotions concerning the potential advent of artificial intelligence. He discusses how SF through literature and film has elevated the man made beings to a something divine and how humans may potentially react to these man-made gods.

Introduction Draft

Recently among science fiction academia and aficionados, animosity towards religion has been mitigated. In the genre, the relationship between religion and science has been cyclical, with each coming out on top at different times throughout the decades. Recently however, the two ideologies have seem to have come to a stalemate, they have acquiesced that each has their merits in the world of the future. However, the clash of ideologies has fueled science fiction for over a century, many of the genre’s roots are in challenging theology. SF does not need to generate vitriol, only continue the sport, the great debate. In literature, religion is one of the greatest antagonists of all time in SF, in not all the genres. Without the great adversary that is religion, science becomes complacent. Religion must continue acting as science’s greatest opponent for SF so that we may speculate and prepare for a world with artificial intelligence, a world where we make gods, and we become deities.

Topic Sentences/ Questions

An antagonist isn’t necessarily a villain; it’s can be a force that works towards the same goal as the protagonist.

The best antagonist knows the protagonists weaknesses and force it to make difficult decisions that reveal its true nature.

Would the society be better off without antagonism, without conflict?

What would happen if either theology or science proved victorious in achieving all the answers, or the ultimate answer?

Ultimately, the goal of creating artificial intelligence is to create a being that is greater than us. Should we make to be gods, or should we act as imperfect gods for them?

Should religion be allowed to propagate beyond earth, should human civilization?

research update

My main research topic is how people define what is a utopia and a dystopia. As with all things people created the idea of utopia and dystopia, with one being the opposite of the other. However from all the sources I have looked at there is no one set definition that everyone is happy with. That is due to the fact that as some put it “A utopia is “as you like it” not necessarily a “perfect” world just a world that is perfect in an individual’s eyes.”, therefore each person has a different take on what it is. “ Utopias and dystopia are asymmetrical concepts, akin to health and disease, whereby one persons hopeful dream is anothers dyspeptic nightmare.”, So why do so many write about a world that one or a few would ever see as a good place to be?
The answer as to why people write utopian and dystopian works also varies based on the person, however for the most part it is to critic and offer ideas. As seen in one of the sources found, “Utopias are of interest because they project ways of life that their authors take to be both radically distinct from and ethnically superior to those prevalent in their own time and place.”. People dream of better worlds, lives, times, and conditions all their lives, the pursuit of happiness. I had also found something that was unexpected, a link to mechanical technology though a paper based on the problems posed by solar technology and how it can be used to create both a utopia and a dystopia. At the time I did consider that something like solar panels could be sued to create a utopian and dystopian world, I was aware of the changes it would bring if put into general use but the idea of it completely altering the current world stage was not one of them.

Research used found via google scholar
Browning, Gary K. Understanding Contemporary Society: Theories of the Present. Ed. Abigail Halcli and Frank Webster. London: SAGE, 2000. Print.

Millwee., Kyle. Kylemillwee. N.p.: n.p., Sept.-Oct. 2014. PDF.
SHELTON, ROBERT. Utopia-and-dystopia. N.p.: Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, 2013. PDF.
Baccolini, Raffaella, and Tom Moylan, eds. Dark Horizons: Science Fiction and the Dystopian Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.
Grassmann, Hans, Ting Fa Margherita Chang, Mario Taverna, and Luca Iseppi. THE SOLAR AGE: UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA. HOW TO TRANSFORM GREEN WASTE EXTERNALITIES IN ENERGY AND BIOCHAR. University of Udine, Italy: Proceeding of the International Scientifical Conference. Volume III., 2014. PDF.
Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.

Project Progress: One Important Key Term That Makes A Connection

After looking back at the last 2 drafts of my Archive Project Proposal, instead of researching the whole key terms that are part of the genre in Science Fiction, I have decided to do only one key term that can be really important to the readers. The key term that I chose was the word android. As for the project itself, I’m going to go over the connection between androids and the African Americans. It is true that androids and African Americans are different; however, they both can be a little similar to each other. For instance, they both had their difficult times of trying to be part of civilization in their own experiences. The androids had some tough times trying to blend in to the human world, while the humans are trying to hunt them down and end their lives. As for the African Americans, they have their rough days back in the day when the white people did not want the black people to be equal as citizens. Therefore, the connection between the two are actually strong.

The reason why the connections are strong is because they have similar harsh events in their history. For example, African Americans had to dealt with the Jim Crow Laws back in 1880s. In the minds of the white people, they did not want the black people to be as equals to them. Especially how a certain group called the Ku Klux Klan, KKK, use torture and violence to give a certain “message” to the blacks. This shows white people did not want the blacks to be part of the civilizations. Comparing to the androids, they wanted to be part of humanity, but humans wouldn’t allow that to happen. Every time they try to blend in with no harm, they would still be kept on hunted down.

Another reason of why their connection is strong is when people think that they’re insignificant. In other words, they shouldn’t exist from the very beginning. For example, there was an article about a graduate student that talked about how creating androids and have them be part of the human race is a bad idea. He had described about the principle of the Uncanny Valley, which states that if an android is getting more realistic as a human, then they have “no basis in reality.” It claims that the student cannot really trust onto androids if they’re starting to become like humans. Similar to the African Americans when white people say that they’re not good enough to be like them.

Also, in comparison to the article comes to journal that talks about the androids and the mixture of racial. The journal had talked about a certain term to describe the imagination of the multiracial future, and that term was called Mulatto. It is said that a Mulatto is a person who was born by the mixture white and one black ancestry .  They actually used this term to describe of how androids can be an imagination of the racial mixture. This shows that androids are like black people because they treated wrongly just how the blacks were treated from the beginning.

Another reason of why is because they were treated unfairly because of their race and who they are. For example, an author had created a book that talks about how some Science Fiction vocabularies were created because of racial implementations. It included the famous authors that wrote Science Fiction novels and they talk about how their books were created that involved racism. Another example, comparing to the text, is yet another book that is similar to other one. But in this text, it only talks about the androids and it goes into the details of how they were enslaved before they could escape their creators in a text that was created by the author. It describes how the enslaved androids was a sign of racism. This shows not only did the black people had to deal with themselves as slaves, but the androids had to experience that as well.

Finally, both the androids and African Americans had determination of never giving up until they achieve their goal. For example, there was an article that talked about a film where it involved androids try to blend in the human world. It talks about how one of the characters that created the androids, wanted to let them see the real world with their own minds  so that they can experience their own emotions. Their main goal is to have them be part of humanity. This shows that androids had to keep on moving forward until they achieve their goal just how the blacks had fight against segregation in order for them to be equals as the white people.

 

Works Cited:

A Brief History of Jim Crow.” Constitutional Rights Foundation,

http://www.crf-usa.org/black-history-month/a-brief-history-of-jim-crow

 

Bosch, Torie. “The Android Head of Philip K. Dick.” The Slate Book Review, 1 June 2012,

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2012/06/philip_k_dick_robot_an_android_head_of_the_science_fiction_author_is_lost_forever_.html

 

Lavender III, Isiah Race in American Science Fiction. Indiana University Press, 2011

 

Dinello, Daniel. Technophobia!: Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology. University of Texas Press, 2005

 

Burks, Robin. “How AMC’s ‘Humans’ Breaks The Sci-Fi Mold: A Look Ahead To The Season Finale.” Tech Times, 15, August, 2015

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/76705/20150815/how-amcs-humans-breaks-the-sci-fi-mold-a-look-ahead-to-the-season-finale.htm

 

Nishime, LeiLani. “The Mulatto Cyborg: Imagining a Multiracial Future.” Cinema Journal, 2005

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