My Sources are divided into three different sections regarding how they will be utilized in the final project: Contextual Testimony, Cultural Artifacts, and Scholarly Foundation.
Contextual Testimony (Since my project is based around perception, these sources will serve as a real life window into how people developing and using prosthetics move through society and their experiences with others.)
WIRED. Can Prosthetics Outperform Real Limbs? | Cyborg Nation. YouTube, WIRED, 4 Nov. 2015, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2z8CE2vomY — A man loses both his legs in a rock-climbing accident and develops a new prosthetic pair for himself. He discovers that his new legs outperform his old ones and his friends joke that they now have to cut their own legs off to level the playing field
Motherboard. The Mind-Controlled Bionic Arm with a Sense of Touch. YouTube, Motherboard, 18 Aug. 2016, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_brnKz_2tI — A woman recounts her experience with a bionic arm. The end of the video also presents some reactions of lawmakers to increased prevalence of bionic limbs. We must rethink what we know about laws, privacy, and “domain over our own bodies.”
Seeker, director. Engineers Created A New Bionic Arm That Can Grow with You. YouTube, Seeker, 10 June 2018, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luHmXHEpF7w — A man discusses his experience with his prosthetic arm. He has had an increasingly positive experience as technology has improved. “How does it work, rather than what happened to you?”
Davies, Sally. “Encounters with the Posthuman.” Nautilus. April 29, 2013. http://nautil.us/issue/1/what-makes-you-so-special/encounters-with-the-posthuman — A man creates a device to enhance his vision and overcome colorblindness. This article showcases negative reactions to prosthetics. People are uncomfortable around him and he told to leave several public places.
Cultural Artifacts: Whereas the first section was dealing with real life depictions, this next section will focus on fictional depictions. This section will consider a few different cultural artifacts and their depictions of prosthetics. It is important to consider the fiction involved in the rhetoric around prosthetics, because what is simulated is simultaneously a reflection of and an influence on what is real.
Ghost in the Shell 2.0 — This film takes place in a society where technologically enhanced bodies are the norm. Society has grown and evolved to reflect this. The body is no longer as sacred as it was; they now have warranties. The soul, or ghost, is considered the defining human quality, until the film shows evidence to the contrary in the Puppet Master
Oshii, Mamoru, director. Ghost in the Shell 2.0. Amazon, Starz, 2008, http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Shell-2-0-Crispin-Freeman/dp/B003AJSRVW/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=ghost+in+the+shell+2.0&qid=1554830059&s=gateway&sr=8-2
Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope — Ben Kenobi uses the statement that Vader is “more machine than man” to demonize him. The applicability of this demonization notwithstanding, this line represents a negative connotation surrounding prosthetics: they make you less human and that is bad.
Lucas, George, director. Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope. 20th Century Fox, 2004
Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back — Similarly to the first point, when Luke gets his prosthetic hand, the film deliberately shows that it is indistinguishable from a human hand, even in the tactile sensations it delivers. This again carries a negative connotation toward prosthetic limbs: they can potentially make someone stand out as not fully biological, and that is bad. Therefore, any prosthetic must be hidden and disguised; they are ugly things.
Kershner, Irvin, director. Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back . 20th Century Fox, 2004.
The Six Million Dollar Man — This television show portrayed prosthetic limbs and prosthetic enhancement in a positive light. The show portrayed prosthetics as a means to achieving superhuman feats. I picked this cultural artifact in particular because it was popular and fairly old compared to the other sources on this list. It increases scope of analysis when considering rhetoric surrounding prosthetic limbs.
Scholarly Foundation: These texts provide the philosophical background material that I will use to examine the information from these sources in the context of posthumanism.
Descartes, Rene. “Meditations on First Philosophy in Which Are Demonstrated the Existence of God and the Distinction between the Human Soul and Body.” Translated by Jonathan Bennett, Earlymoderntexts.com, July 2004, http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/descartes1641.pdf — Cartesian Duality – the distinction between body and soul – is an idea that is central to both posthuman rhetoric and the rhetoric regarding the philosophical implications of prosthetics.
Hayles, N. Katherine. “Prologue” and “Toward Embodied Virtuality.” How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, 1999. xi-24 — The key take away from this reading regarding my project is that people have become accustomed to the idea that information can travel through various different mediums unaffected. Speaking more broadly, the permanence of form is becoming less relevant. If something changes parts of its form, that does not necessarily affect what is it. This can be related to the positive embracing of prosthetic advancement. Humans may change their bodies without altering their classification as “human.”