Jun 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GERM 363 - Cyborgs, Puppets and Borderline Humans

“We are all cyborgs,” Donna Haraway tells us: fabricated hybrids of machine and organism, and increasingly so in the digital age. In this course, we will explore the porous boundary between the human and the parahuman in literature, film, and popular culture. Robots and androids, puppets and marionettes, living statues and Doppelgänger, prosthetic devices from artificial limbs to canes and eyeglasses are just some of the phenomena that inhabit and traverse the border between wo/man and machine, the natural and the artificial. How does culture figure the border between the human and its others? How does this border shift through history? How are parahumans gendered? How natural and how artificial is gender? Texts by Goethe, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Heinrich von Kleist, Irmgard Keun, and Yoko Tawada; films and television series from Ernst Lubitsch to Tatort; documents on artificial intelligence, transhumanist politics, and the history of toys. Taught in German. Prerequisite(s): GERM 308  or GERM 309 ; or completion of Macalester’s or another approved study abroad program; or permission of the instructor. Offered fall term of even-numbered years. (4 Credits)