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CSIS/STS Lunchtime Seminar: Jeanne Cortiel

Technological Risk and American Popular Culture: Dystopian Visions in Film and Graphic Narrative
When Sep 25, 2012
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where 1246 SS&H
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Please join the Center for Science & Innovation Studies, the Department of English, and the Program in Science & Technology Studies for our first lunchtime speaker of the 2012-2013 academic year.

Jeanne Cortiel (Professor of American Studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Please RSVP for Lunch

Abstract: This talk explores a particular type of anticipatory consciousness as expressed in popular fictional media: the anticipation of global technological catastrophe. It is my argument here that fiction participates in risk communication by referencing risk scenarios that are hotly negotiated in the context of (popular) non-fictional risk assessment, for example, the gray goo scenario, nuclear terrorism, or viral pandemics. My focus is on the ways in which risk in fiction generates a specific field of tension between the dystopian and utopian, the fictional and factual, the realistic and the fantastic mode. It is primarily the integrity of the male body that is at stake in such fictional negotiations of risk. In this talk, I look more closely at Francis Lawrence's film I am Legend (2007) and Frank Miller's graphic narrative Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986) as examples.

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