Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Empathy Enough: The Disorienting Power of Androids in a Posthuman World
by Carlson, Jacob, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2018, 75; 10844407
Abstract (Summary)

In the 1968 science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick envisions a world where synthetic beings have become advanced enough to walk among humans unnoticed, blurring the boundary between human and machine. In a later interview, he claims that the inspiration of the novel came from reading a Gestapo officer’s diary, believing that the writing represented a “humanoid other” that is morphologically human and yet is not human in essence. Using critical theory on object-orientation, technology, and identity, I investigate the novel’s use of space, object description, and references to the ersatz to uncover the conditions under which a humanoid other emerges, and what Dick offers as the remedy for our “bifurcated” humanity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: DeSpain, Jessica
Commitee: Anderson, Jill, Johnson, Matthew S. S.
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 58/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American literature
Keywords: Ahmed, Sara, Androids, Dick, Philip K., Empathy, Objects, Science fiction
Publication Number: 10844407
ISBN: 978-0-438-40207-2
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