Foucault, literature, and feminist theories of technology

Speaker: Dr Lena Wanggren # English Literature, University of Edinburgh

2nd Feb 2015

15:30 - 17:00

Room 1.06, Old Surgeons' Hall, High School Yards


Building on French philosopher Michel Foucault’s writings on technology, this paper explores the specific trope of literary texts as technologies, as social and cultural agents. Writing itself in its material, literal, sense is noticeably a technology; writing is made material through the use of technologies, and the alphabet might be seen as one of the most important technologies in world history. Critiquing technological determinism as well as gender essentialism, the paper through feminist theories of technology and examples of technologies such as the bicycle, proposes that exploring literature as technology problematises a definition of the latter, suggesting technology as a volatile concept rather than simply as a tool in the hands of the inventor/author.

Speaker's biography