E-learning and Digital Cultures 2011

part of the MSc in E-learning at the University of Edinburgh

E-learning and Digital Cultures 2011

block 3: posthumanities

Several of the films and clips we saw as part of our film festival in Block 1 introduced us to popular images of the cyborg. Haraway, in the first of the core readings for this block, describes the cyborg as “a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction”- a figure who might more broadly be aligned with the rich mix of philosophy, cybernetics and popular culture which constitutes ‘posthumanism’. In the final block of this course we are taking as our starting point the position that digital culture is to an extent a culture of the posthuman. As Haraway, Hayles and others argue, this has biological, political and ontological implications.

Block 3 invites us to consider how our understanding of gender, race, power and subjectivity is affected by our engagement with the posthuman. The two core readings in week 8 – “A Cyborg Manifesto” (Haraway) and a chapter from How We Became Posthuman (Hayles) are classics of the literature in this area. They are also both quite challenging pieces of writing, and may orientate you towards these topics and themes in ways that you find surprising. We encourage you to share your thoughts in your blogs in weeks 8 and 9.

Block 3 will also provide us with another opportunity to work collaboratively in Wallwisher – this time creating a collaborative story about ways we are posthuman.

In Week 10 we look at some educational implications of the notion of the posthuman. What does ‘thinking with the posthuman’ imply for educational research and practice? Also in this week, you will think up or find an example of ‘posthuman pedagogy’, and feed this into your lifestream.

In this block you should also be considering, discussing and finally deciding on a topic for your final assignment. The final two weeks of the course will be taken up with assignment preparation.

Weeks 8 & 9 (7-20 November)

Week 10 (12 – 27 November)

Weeks 11 & 12 (28 November – 11 December)

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