What language does the cyborg speak? culture, ethnicity and nationality as part of the language of the cyborg?
Aceti, Lanfranco What language does the cyborg speak? culture, ethnicity and nationality as part of the language of the cyborg? In: Amber Conference, Istanbul (Submitted)
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The paper will explore the concept of post-humanity as a cultural construction that, as Elaine Graham explained, is a condition which affects both human and post-human social frameworks. If the post-human body is a cultural definition, does the cyborg speak English? What is the relationship between the imagined cybernetic utopia of liberation and the post-human existence developed in different cultural contexts? The condition of humanity in cyborgology, and its relationship with post-humanity, is based on a utopian assumption of liberation and freedom from human restraints. This process of liberation is one that either transcends culture, ethnicity and nationality or is enriched by them. As a consequence, the language spoken by the cyborg becomes a reflection of the cultural imperatives that underpin the cyborg’s future existence. If, in this context, the language spoken by the cyborg is English, what is the relevance of this new liberator to a culturally diverse audience? What are the enriching elements inherited from culture, nationality and ethnicity that can be subsumed into the cyborg’s existence? The paper will conclude by making a case for the existence of the cyborg as a reflection of the cultural realities within which the machine is embodied. By comparing the idea of the cyborg as a dystopic reality versus that of a utopian idealized future existence, the paper will argue that the coming of age of the cyborg demands the recognition and definition of the roles and challenges that culture, ethnicity and nationality play in the embodiment of human biological organs in the machine.
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