Fisher Center Brings Life to the Cyborg – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fisher Center Brings Life to the Cyborg

Is the cyborg an everyday animation? Or does the cyborg act as our cultural cartographer, charting reanimations of current and future deepest desires, fears, hopes and dreams? To answer these questions and more, the Fisher Center Series on “Animation and Gender” will host its own pre-doctoral fellow, Jillian Burcar, on Wednesday, April 22 at 5 p.m. in the Geneva Room to deliver the fifth and final lecture of the semester, titled “(Re)Animating the Cyborg.”

In her lecture, Burcar will chronicle and critically compare the histories and biographies of various cyborgs as they have been brought to life through word and image, sight and sound, signs and symptoms. For Burcar, the cyborg embodies gender, technology and consumer culture combine as its most elemental life-giving forces, creating an exchange of identity and transformation. As she gives life to the cyborg in a whole new way, Burcar will pose new questions on the topic, such as Is the cyborg narrative dictated by a heteronormative sex and gender system? Does the cyborg offer alternatives to normative models of reproduction?

To begin to answer these questions, Burcar will call upon sources from the works of previous Fisher Center Series speakers, such as Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl (a novel written in hypertext) and David Mack’s Kabuki (a comic book series), as well as outside sources, such as Chobits (a Japanese manga and anime). However, it is only by examining these stories, as well as the shape these stories take, that the most important question can be explored: what animates the cyborg’s narrative and how might it continue to be reanimated?

To find out more, HWS community members are invited to a roundtable discussion with Burcar on the following day, Thursday, April 23 from 9-10 a.m. in the Fisher Center (Demarest 212).

Burcar is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature and Creative Writing (fiction) at the University of Southern California, a hybrid program where she does critical studies while producing creative work. She will complete both the Visual Studies and Gender Studies Graduate Certificates at USC. She has also been honored with the Mildred Fox Hanson Award and Virginia Middleton Summer Award. Recently, she has given several talks on comics-related topics across the country.