Tag Archives: week8

Week 8 – Rewind…

    Has a sore sore sore throat. Meh. Not feeling even slightly like I’ve gotten any productive homework done/possible… [suchprettyeyes] 11:07pm via Twitter

The first thing to say is that this is, of course, a belated lifestream summary so a little on why that is. During week 8 I was busy reading ethnographies, bookmarking interesting things and thinking about the readings (now readable in Cyborgs and Post Human Adventures) but, at the close of the week the very real physical world intervened when I came down with what was either a cold or the flu. Either way I ended the week with another post to write hence the delay here.

And here’s where digital culture and traditional recording culture start to, if not clash, then at least challenge each other. If I’d been collecting materials and thoughts in person and had then fallen ill I would have had either a pile of papers or a series of thoughts in my head. I wouldn’t have felt well enough to collate the notes and it would make sense to summarise these even if a few weeks late as the lifespan of an assessment object to hand in in a more tangible permanent format seems conceptually longer. However because I had been taking notes online my notes were nicely preserved and orderly (and public) but, at the same time, I wouldn’t generally write a blog post about an event weeks after it had taken place and it does seem strange and artificial to do so here. Conceptually I see the lifespan of a blog as long but I see the time period in which it remains relevant to blog as significantly shorter than I would a report or, perhaps, even some form of hand or type written journal. The reason is access. If I expect my work to be accessed all in one block at the end of a period then a write up at any stage makes sense – that’s the assessment format here and that’s the reason I am blogging. For a blog the window I expect people to access and read it is a not quite real time basis – maybe once or twice a week or once every couple of weeks – and that suggests that what I post should be relevant in that reading window. For instance on my very informal personal blog I will post intermittently but if something is interesting and I don’t blog it in a week or two I’ll tend not to blog at all relying, instead, on real time updates to Twitter.

In effect there are expiry dates for information in my mind and I think that is one of the weirder and more subtle challenges to bringing pedagogical method and, particularly, even minimum conventional requirements for assessment into the wilder digital space. The problem is that to assess in any continual post-to-post way would be to exclude the collected work and wisdom of a fuller body of work and, crucially, to establish – for a week or several – a real challenge around any first impressions made in initial exploratory postings that could be the first blog post of some students. That is all, of course, to overlook the substantial issue of realistic time and staffing facilities for assessment. It is simply not practical to do what might be useful – perpetual lightweight assessment on almost an apprenticeship model. Ongoing commenting and guidance is of course important in most teaching methods but actually assigning grades or deciding to pass or fail a student halfway through a module (say) would be significantly more controversial and go against academic tradition. And yet packaging and archiving a snapshot of a blog at the end of 12 weeks of a module is, to an extent, to mock the concept of a blog as an alive, participative space. Indeed the relevance of a blog is generally partly determined by the date of last update.

As I try to work out just what I should do with my blog at the close of this module I cannot help but wonder what further fragments of myself I am sprinkling around the web. I have an IDEL blog, now and EDC blog and, soon, a digital game-based learning blog. As soon as a module finishes though the term “blog” seems to degrade and instead a label that fits the archive/one time journal format might be better. Laboratory notebooks are a format very much intended as a real time record of process that supports later completed academic work and publications but these too are changing. The modern lab book is as likely to be in the form of a blog (albeit a specialist implementation – e.g. Southampton Chemistry Blogs) as it is to be a traditional paper notebook with it’s mixture of lined and graphed pages for working notes.

Of course there are additional issues here. The word “book” (lab book or otherwise) is an even more disputed term in an online world than “blog”. The semantics of the internet are still evolving but as more teaching and assessing appears new labels must start to appear around “elearning” that go beyond spaces whose online status is indicated by clumsy prefixes such as “i-”, “e-”, “virtual”, “cyber”…

To the best of my knowledge there is no suitable term to cover a real time recording of process and thought on the web but I think this a gap to be filled. Whatever it is will suit this work – a blend of real time updates of thoughts and non-sequential postings that fulfil course criteria whilst adding additional reflection – rather better than the phrase “blog” with all the cultural baggage that label entails.

In the case of retrospective editing and curating of the course blogs here I find myself significantly torn. In theory I wish to make my blog readable and I, of course, want to make sure the work suits the assessment criteria but, in practice, this sprawling awkward shape is what my blog has been, how it has proved useful for me, where the comments are and it is the honest chronological record of my work. Several weeks ago I considered changing the look and feel of the site to be a little clearer and tidier but I felt that was a matter of evolving the blog on and wondered how the look and feel at the times that other people have read the blog could be captured when it comes to assessment. I re-designed my blog in the first weeks of course but as few people had read or commented on the site yet – and it was still clearly under construction – and the work was nowhere near assessment it seemed fine to do so. Recently I have felt more and more self-conscious that the aesthetics, layout and formatting of the site matter in assessing the content since it’s contextual state – readability, site design, links to others, comments and replies to these etc. – is this piece of work’s ordinary native state. It is not an essay and thus some sort of record of progression would, ideally, be packaged up along with the data when it comes to assessment.

In fact the idea of retrospective edits is always controversial online. Whilst the current UEA Climate Change debacle highlights the potential virtue of curation – and the role of disposal and privacy in the curation of the data record – it also flags up the dangers of opacity. The Guardian has moved to a system of transparent edits (listed in the “Article History” link where both corrections and updates are recorded – e.g. in the recent article “Not Jewish but Jew-ish”) so that you can always see what has been altered, added, retracted etc. You may get only a snapshot in time on the page but the previous versions are available to compare. In the case of the lab book analogy it would be seen as highly inappropriate to go back and correct or reinvent the ongoing work process as this is a record of the evolution of ideas and so errors and tangents are part of the valued record. However you might not present the full record as evidence for every piece of work, rather the relevant portion of the work. As an assessment of your participation in the learning and process of the lab though it is – like these blogging spaces – a tougher call to know what and when to edit and when that is a matter of idealised correction or a matter of sorting wheat from chaff (if that really is significantly different).

Borges (in Baudrillard (1)) allegory of simulation – the idea that to make a map of the world of sufficient accuracy you would need to create a map the same size – or larger – than the world in order to adequately represent it. By the same token would the record of experiencing a course and tracking your thoughts and deeds really add up to, in fact, more material and time to read and/or assess than the time and quantity of materials that compose the actual course itself? It’s a daunting thing in terms of containment, assessment, measuring effort and input. But it’s a thrilling thing in terms of thought, development of ideas, sharing of comments and feedback and the concept of course as mature community of peers. Digital culture is often about the now, the agile, the good enough at the time approach. I think something I’m only belatedly thinking of in our discussions of digital cultures is how one squares norms of practice with norms of education and how artificial such a fusion can or has to be. I realise I am shockingly short of conclusions here but I just wanted to stop and query the assessment portion of this course and how it fits with the work since the blog and the lifestream pose a significant asset and living space for the course but the process of assessment specifically pauses or ceases that life. Perhaps the same would happen anyway with the close of the course but since I think of blogs as living spaces it seems that to cease updating and to place a pause on activity around the space is a little like going fishing and admiring your catch – it will cope without water for a short time but leave it to long and it will no longer be a fish. It might be a tasty dinner but it won’t go back to being part of it’s former ecosystem again, at least not as a living breathing beast interacting with others. Or perhaps that too pessimistic. Perhaps one should revel in plate of delicious assessment sushi (to stretch a metaphor to alarming breaking point).

In any case, I have become distracted here so I shall refocus. Whatever this space is, and whatever the virtues or issues of updating it after the fact, here is what I got up to in Week 8 according to the highlights of my lifestream:

Sorry for the insanely long delay… my ethnography is live! http://bit.ly/P8Ct2 #ededc [suchprettyeyes]3:30pm via Twitter

Posted Comments on: Week 7 Summary – Lost in #Torchwood.11:25am via Generic

Shared 20 Questions with Mimi Ito | Standard Imagination interviews cultural anthropologist, Mimi Ito about her findings in The Digital Youth Study..9:41pm via Delicious - this was a link shared with me originally via the comments on my ethnography

The above relate to my reading and commenting on the digital ethnographies. I spent most of this week delighting in the work of my course colleagues by reading and commenting on almost all of them (to the few I didn’t get to my sincere apologies – I will try and look and comment in the next few days as they are so much fun to read through!). My bookmarks and WordPress comment stream reflect this. I was also lucky enough to received really useful and insightful comments on my own work which was hugely motivating force and allowed me to gather so many ideas and reflections on what I had done and could do. It was a really exciting process to create my ethnography and a hugely exciting process to then look up from my time fiddling with my own work to find out what amazing things others had been up to. It was like doing art a-level again in some ways as it was like we all had our own little digital workspaces in a big friendly studio and were coming together to compare and learn from each others inventive creative work.

Wonders how many of my aardvark answers end up in dubious essays for school… probably not the recipes though [suchprettyeyes]2:26am via Twitter”

This was my tweet after getting several queries through Aardvark – one of many recent crowd-sourced question and answer systems on the net though this one has a very loosely coupled social networking aspect. When it first launched (I joined fairly early in the release) questions were fairly clearly from early web adopters – about travel, electronic purchases, and daft test questions about shopping or ideas. Now there are an increasingly large number of questions that look suspiciously related to homework. I Tweeted after receiving a question about modern art that I was sure was about to end up in a high school essay of some sort. That didn’t stop me answering it but did make me answer in fulsome detail and throw some questions back at the questioner. As she replied and asked follow up questions it led me to wonder whether it is better, worse, or just fine compared with traditional peer support. By combining my previous interest in giving answers with other members’ desire for answers Aardvark sets me up as a trusted voice but there is no standard of service here. I don’t have to give a truthful or accurate answer if I don’t want to and can certainly offer unqualified answers without any need to offer a disclaimer (I do for some things – like the answer I thought was destined for an essay!). What’s odd is that the method of delivery also adds a sense of authenticity – my first name, my age, my gender, my location get shown – it’s a weird way to check the authority of an answer but it has some helpful indicators in there as well as some misleading ones.

My quality/rating/reviews from other questioners don’t get shown but these things are measured in the system since you can rate any answers you have received as useful or not. Ebay has made good work of building authority rankings based on this very informal idea of peer review so perhaps it is likely to start forming part of these Q&A systems. In any case the idea of seeking homework help (at any academic level) from the web is a shift away from searching for data/help and that is a long way from asking local peers or tutors as preceded this. Perhaps the peer support is better on the web – the group is more diverse and more plentiful – but there is no way to know or check authority in semi-anonymous systems. This is already well known issue in teaching and assessment – hence systems such as TurnItIn – but it’s fairly weird to feel you might be assisting someone with their homework without knowing if it is helpful or harmful.

Experimenting with one of the worknetbooks this afternoon. Bit like typing on a calculator… most odd… [suchprettyeyes] 2:02pm via Twitter

Shared iPhone Developer Program – 3. Distribute your application.11:20am via Delicious

Queue mathematics: 10 people with 3 items each on self service or 5 people with full baskets on human till?! [suchprettyeyes]7:04pm via Twitter

So here I am taking the reverse role by crowd-sourcing my shopping decisions. To my surprise this resulted in about 5 answers from people bringing diverse knowledge into really quite unnecessary answers! I think this is actually one of the weird and lovely effects of ubiquitous computing (see first Tweet above) – you can have a continuous one-to-many conversation but receive a mixture of interesting one-to-many or one-to-one responses. You may feel slightly more detached from others’ in your supermarket queue (if such a thing is possible) but you feel continuously in touch with your friends and the chance to have your day lightened by silly or supportive comments can raise your mood. And your queuing productiveness!

Shared giCentre – Department of Information Science – City University London. 5:16pm via Delicious

Shared A Blog Near You Blog WordPress.com.3:51pm via Delicious

Ubiquitous access to the web means needing a way to deal with information better. The links above are two very cool options for finding and using information differently and thus, potentially for new and interesting educational uses (including the types of services my own organisation runs) of information, statistics, blogs: visualisation of data and geospatial contexts for data (WordPress now lets you mark up your blog with a location so that people searching for blogs and bloggers (more likely now that Google have enabled social search) can opt in to filtering blogs by area and – potentially – relevance to them.

Shared Repper -> create your own patterns!.5:19pm via Delicious

This is a much more playful link. Repper takes an already available or a user contributed image and runs a flexible user-controlled repeating algorithm to repeat the image into a kaleidoscopic image:


This is a fun example of software as a service over the web – a sophisticated process that you can run from your web browser in a few minutes is compelling although, of course, it relies on appropriate (and appropriately licensed) images are the only ones uploaded. That trust in users is getting interesting as data provenance becomes easier through tools like image recognition software becomes more widespread (e.g. Mobile Acuity or Google Goggles) but for now tools like Repper have to rely on trust and warnings and the use of take-down notices. As to what happens to authentic original data given away in exchange for a cool image though I do start to wonder if we aren’t going to want to retain licence to our own data in the future. In terms of rolling out any tools on the web for teaching the use and storage of data is an issue so having a way to somehow track usage and retain ownership of images, videos etc. even if you are not the one storing them becomes more important (though most services imply that you keep your data some state that they gain the right to share as they like and that is problematic for the types of trust required in a teaching environment. (Gosh, trust seems to be a trust theme this week).

marvels at the power of coincidence! [suchprettyeyes] 1:14pm via Twitter

A short comment about the power of serendipity in the network. Someone new started work on a project I wanted to make contact with and sent a message round a mailing list to say hello to that particular community. The email was forwarded to me by a colleague and I made a note to email this new interesting sounding person. In the course of a few days however I was moderating comments on my course blog and found one from this person. I approved it and thanked her for commenting. Then we got in touch via Twitter and I found out she was going to the same Edinburgh Coffee Morning as me and that, in fact she knew someone else that I had met through Twestival. I then met her only a few weeks after her initial email with us both having serendipitously found each other. Bizarre. True. And the magic of the actually quite small niche communities even in the huge landscape of the internet.

cyborgish? RT @simonjbains: Bob Constable: industrial revolution was extending muscle power. Info revolution is extending brain power. #ededc [suchprettyeyes]6:05pm via Twitter

@lahirondelle Yes, just to add my voice to those rather baffled by Haraway. Am getting my mac to read it me later, see if it helps ;) #ededc [suchprettyeyes]3:28pm via Twitter

These two Tweets came in in the same week and I liked the mix. At the time I was reading through Donna Haraway (as per my posting) and getting a bit lost and found the quote that was Tweeted out from Bob Constable useful for combining some of Haraway’s arguments about military development of cyborgs and potential alternative futures. And, indeed this seemed to link into some of the difficulties of Hayles (2) has in seeing human conciousness in information flow modelling and analogies.

@MatthewWells Charlie Brooker and Hadley Freeman probably. Yasmin Alibi-Brown and Germaine Greer maybe. Not a huge number… [suchprettyeyes]2:16pm via Twitter

guardian.co.uk – Media Talk: The Sun’s attack on Gordon Brown

This last set of links is a fun diversion which I like to call “Nicola Osborne: Citizen Journalist!” Well it’s over selling it a little. I saw a request come out asking which commentators I would pay for – this was research for the Guardian Media Talk Podcast and a piece on the possibilities of payment models for newspapers (most commentators agree that news cannot be charged for as it is easily found and under valued but that comment sections of paper represent more of a value-added service that people may be happy to pay for online). I offered my suggestions of who I would pay for. And a few days later I was (almost instantly) rewarded for my contribution by being quoted in the podcast – which I duly virally promoted such was my excitement! A good exercise in digital journalism (from Matt Wells rather than me) I think: twitter for research, podcast for format, iTunes and website for distribution, crowd-sources (if that makes sense) for enthusiastic viral marketing.

I think with that I shall round up since this has been a long long lifestream summary. Hope it had it’s highlights. I think the lesson for me is that belated postings tend to be that bit longer – my attempt to recall my original highlights and their context sparks lots of new thoughts to add.


  1. Baudrillard, J (1988) Simulacra and Simulations, in  Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings (ed. Mark Poster). Stanford. Stanford University Press. pp.166-184.
  2. Hayles, N.K. (1999). Toward embodied virtuality, chapter 1 of How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature and informatics. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. pp1-25

Cyborg and Post Human Adventures

I found this a really challenging week as the readings were dense but very stimulating. Initially when I thought about what a Cyborg might be the types of images I had in mind came from science fiction – like the 1989 Japanese film Tetsuo: The Iron Man (see trailer below though it is a little gory/edgy so possibly not safe for work/not for everyone) – and these images are very much about the (literal) fusing of man and machine.

YouTube Preview Image

It was therefore quite a challenge to in some way relate my expectations to the picture Haraway (1) paints of the cyborg as a form of post gender idealism made whole and (almost?) physical. Before reading the Cyborg Manifesto I knew it to be a work on futurism and feminism but I found it hard to analyze and form my own opinion on the work due to the structure and range of issues included by Haraway as she critiques the status quo and sketches a possible cyborg future. I have attempted to consider the core readings with the questions raised by Jen and Sian as my starting point for reflection.

For a start I found some of Haraway’s arguments if not exactly expired had certainly lost their edge since the original publication of her Cyborg Manifesto in 1985. The political importance of nuclear weapons in the world has significantly changed since the end of the cold war and the fall of communism in eastern Europe in the years following 1989. Although many cyborg developments can still be traced to military technology I also think the role of the education, medical and commercial sectors actually have a far greater impact now than at the time Haraway was writing.

I think in fact that the end of the cold war and increasing global dominance of capitalist power has shifted the power balance in ways perhaps not envisioned by Haraway. Military funding of technology remains highly influential but there are reasons to see recent conflict as driven by commerce rather than politics or idealism and that is a type of aggression that is both post-partisan (in a very cyborg way) and promiscuously frightening. I don’t think this situation is entirely beyond Haraway’s image of the cyborg but I think the reality is that much more negative than the picture she paints.

I think there is actually a curious bilateralism of influence occuring as the military commissions private sector gaming companies to create training games – because the technology developed for commercial gaming is both the most leading edge of it’s type and the gameplay experience most closely aligned to the experience and expectations of new recruits. In turn such commissions develop and maintain expertise that is reused in increasingly realistic commercial war games that will contribute to forming attitudes and understanding of the world to future voters and recruits. There is something intriguing and alarming about the unequal bridging of commerce, war and embodiment – the apparent subject of the forthcoming James Cameron film Avatar – that might allow conflict to be conducted partially or wholly in game or virtual environments given the sophisticated, often remote and highly automated weapons systems that now so resemble a form of disconnected gaming.

The role of women in society has changed significantly (perhaps more so in the UK than in the US because of the broad and swift changes to European social policy changes including the almost total legal unacceptability of sexual discrimination in recruitment, increased and mandatory periods of paid maternity leave, increased rights for part time workers etc.) but in both cases the realm of women certainly now includes work – frequently in addition to caring responsibilities around home, family and children – in a much more significant way.

Fertility rights of women have also changed due to the (relative) mainstreaming of older pregnancies, IVF, donar insemination etc. and this (along with very little change in the available male roles in selective fertility/birth control and only limited paternity leave and rights) has not just opened up opportunities but has also forced women – in a very cyborg way – to continuously make conscious choices about their role in society and their role in their private life. At the same time the mainstreaming of pornography, the impact of Viagra, the increased rate of divorce (and later age dating and remarriage) and the rise of the energetic pensioner have all brought about the expectation that women will be youthful and sexual at all ages. This may enable exciting new senses of self and embodiment but increased visibility of high profile older women – who selectively model their appearance on a continuation of impression of youth – has led to a more homogeneous acceptable face of femininity and female power. Advances in modern medicine and biotechnology have huge impact with Botox and hair dye having physical and cultural effects far beyond the reach of the type of cosmetic surgeries that were available twenty years ago.

] There is nothing female that naturally binds women

- Haraway (1). p. 38

In fact despite the gender-blurring that has occurred since the writing of the manifesto – including the increased visibility of all types of sexualities and literally post-gender trans people – there has been a curious polarization of genders enabled by technologies around implants, cosmetic surgeries etc. but not driven by them. Modern humans are not only not post gender but the modern face of idealised womanhood is a faux youthful and hyper feminized mixture of inflated and airbrushed lips, breasts and hair with large childlike eyes. Despite a current resurgence of 1980’s fashion styles it is not the genderless 1940s inspired shoulderpads of professional women that have returned but the sloanish fashions of privilege and passivity. Even the more gender neutral styles adopt highly gendered ontologies that refer to a conceptual space not the cut or true origins of the garment, for example the Boyfriend cardigan/blazer/etc. The increased hyper feminisation of appearance seems, in part, an extreme reaction to the blurring social roles between men and women. Society seems set on the importance of strongly articulated gender and, because only a minority of women subscribing to the notion of being a surrendered wife or an idealistic Martha Stewart soccer mom, ultra feminine fashion and increased attention on appropriate grooming (for both genders: stubble and/or aggressively showy styles for men; obsessively hairless bodies and long hair for women) is the (capitalist) way to compensate for increasingly comparable careers, blurred child care roles and empowerment across genders. In other words the cyborg – if that is a relevant term for current experience – is not post gender but in fact amplifies subtle differences that potentially undermine any post feminist or post gender gains.

Haraway indicates that the cyborg will be ubiquitous, virtually invisible and this remains resonant in a world of smart phones, bionic body parts and automated processes. Though the technology here has moved on greatly since the Manifesto it is one area of the piece that I feel has dated most strongly as the ethical and moral questions remain pertinent and unresolved. This is one area where the fear of technology remains many years after Haraway took as read an assumption that cyborgs were likely to be perceived primarily as threats.

Haraway’s ideas of binaries and paradoxes has aged less well and an interview from 1997 [5] casually rejects the simplicity these implied. I do not feel we have become cyborg enough to float above these binaries but I do question that they were ever capable of such neat definition. The core Cartesian mind/body duality though is a harder to deal with. Reading through the Manifesto I felt Haraway framed the duality so clearly in spiritual terms that her own Catholic upbringing was forefronted. As someone without any religious faith or beliefs I do not see the “spirit” as a valid human form exactly but, realistically, I do articulate my function in the third party as a split of intelligence and, for want of a better phrase, meat. I came to the conclusion, reading [1] that in fact I see the body as one intrinsically connected machine with the nervous system and brain at it’s core and everything else a sensor, tool or other connector between processing and the external world. That is a mind/body split of sorts but it is also a matter of seeing skin as the ultimate in sensor technology, the eye as the very best camera in the world, and the body as more than a disposable husk for a brain. Shallow elements like appearance also effect the development and behaviour of a person and so, on a different level, there is also an important connect between body and consciousness (and I think conciousness is the word I would give to the mind/spirit or similar notion).

Cogito, ergo sum.

- René Descartes

Hayles (2) raised the condition of post humanism and I found this to be a fascinating and complimentary theory to Haraways cyborg ideology. Post humans are, from what I understood of Hayles, far more about the practical elements of joining humans to machines or at least to non-natural elements. This is where the fusing of body parts, the development of artificial joints and limbs, the idea of backing up ones memory to the machine or the internet comes in. And in fact I was reminded of three powerful radio programmes from the NPR RadioLab series: Who Am I?; Where Am I?; and Memory & Forgetting. Each explores the nature of consciousness and being and the role that the physical body has on an articulate understanding of the world and the self. Hayles takles aesthetic post humanism head on – having the luxury of 14 years more of medical technologies at the time of writing – as a part of the evolution of post human forms, something that relates back to Haraway’s notion of a superior form (of cyborg) emerging and her own professional background in evolutionary biology.

Perhaps the most powerful element of Hayles (2) though is her insistence that it is the cross pollination between disciplines and futurists that allows powerful holistic ideas to emerge. Although her own perspective is literary she pays homage to the role of science and broader colleagues. This interlinking of expertise and ideas is, perhaps, in itself a reflection of the power of networks (of all kinds) and of the power of machines in aiding discovery and communication between scholars and in processing information so that human interactions can be distilled to their most useful creative connective functions.

I found Hayles (3) a really useful piece for reflecting on Haraway and particularly the notion of consciousness and embodied self but Sheilds (4) was, to me, a curious read as it seemed to come so firmly from a practical and male perspective that it jarred oddly with the rest of the key readings here. As you would imagine I could not entirely disagree with his new sites of Body and Web but I certainly disagree with his reasons for their inclusion. In fact I felt that Body had already, to some extent, been dealt with as Haraway wanted to and her own choice had been to indicate a post gender post human form. There are cultural issues (as I have highlighted above) around how, in practice, this actually takes place but I do not see the body as distinct from the rest of the person as Sheilds evidently does. I see the body as part of the engine of human/cyborg machines.

The inclusion of the web as a site actually also seems curiously out of date. For me personally I do not see the web as sitting outside my experience of the world: it is not a unique space but (as discussed in Bayne (6)) one of many distributed embodiments of my own self. It is not a special site in terms of how I define myself any more than any other embodied space. In effect both new spaces Sheild proposes seem comparitively irrelevant given the scale of issues and ideologies that Haraway sets her sights on.

I found this entire set of readings (and those that I will reflect on as part of my Week 10 summary) very stimulating though broadly I disagreed with much of what was being said. Haraway in particular appealed to me – and my strong sense of feminism – but seemed so of it’s time and of it’s creator’s era that I felt quite isolated and distant from the images of politics (personal and state), ideology and feminist orthodoxy painted.


  1. Haraway, D. (2000). A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late 20th Century. in D Bell and A Kennedy, The Cybercultures Reader. Routledge.
  2. Hayles, N.K. (1999). Toward embodied virtuality, chapter 1 of How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature and informatics. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. pp1-25
  3. Hayles, N.K. (2006). Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere. Theory Culture Society, 23/7-8.
  4. Shields, R. (2006). Flânerie for Cyborgs. Theory Culture Society, 23/7-8.
  5. Kunzru, H. (1997). You are Cyborg. Wired. Issue 5.02. Accessed 30th November 2009: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.02/ffharaway.html.
  6. Bayne, S. (forthcoming, March 2010). Academetron, automaton, phantom: uncanny digital pedagogies. London Review of Education. [revised version uploaded 10 November 09]