Paper #1 Topics

Hey folks — next week’s assignment is below this post. But you can post your first paper topics here. Please feel free to ask questions of your studentlionstudent.jpg colleagues, offer advice, and engage in conversations about your topic. I’ll be responding to student’s proposed topics on this blog — because most of the feedback I typically give is relevant to most students. For more information about the essay itself, click here.

Remember, the best way to begin any paper is by asking a question (such as those I often ask within the blogs). What is it that you want to know more about? Or what particular theme or idea do you want to further explore? Be sure, too, that you will be able to draw relevant connections between the literature you have read and are discussing and contemporary cyberculture/s.

Also — be prepared to talk about your proposed paper topic in class next week. We will be discussing your proposals as a class.

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15 responses to “Paper #1 Topics

  1. I’d like to explore the themes in Neuromancer of addiction and its relation to the internet addictions of today, as well as the idea of replacement addictions ( Case’s substitution of derms for cyberspace.) I know this sounds a little vague as of yet. Any suggestions?

  2. Paul Sernatinger

    I want to explore the idea of evolution across several texts and how tool use has evolved from a conceptual extension of ourselves to an integrated part thereof. So from tools to cybernetic enhancements, and then further explore cyberspace itself as a tool and how our cyber identities are increasingly transforming from extensions of our actual selves to being integrated into our sense of self. Already we are seeing examples of this today with non-permanent enhancements such as cell phones and how after the phone is taken away people experience symptoms of withdrawl. The phone is not physically integrated into us but conceptually it is. Like how when you drive you don’t think about putting your foot on the brake pedal after you have been a regular driver for some amount of time, conceptually, you just “stop.” Texts I plan to explore, compare and contrast are Frankenstein, The Time Machine and Neuromancer, tentatively, although I’d like to add another text either to supplement or perhaps to replace one of these three (most likely the Time Machine, as while I see the connection I realize it’s not very direct). What I hope to do is indicate the general level of progress of this integration and how it is increasingly becoming more ubiquitous.

    Any comments or suggestions from -anybody- would be really helpful as for me this initial stage of brainstorming is the most difficult part of paper synthesis for me and the sooner I have this pinned down, the more time I have to work on my paper.

    (Also April, looking at yours, find the cell phone study I just made reference to, it’s pretty recent and looks like it’s exactly about what you want to talk about.)

  3. I would like to explore the James Joyce and explore how the language and the writing used correlates with cyber space.

  4. I’d like to investigate time travel (as referenced in our readings) and how it relates to cyberspace, that is, if there is any relation, and how cyberspace might influence time travel and vice versa.

  5. i would like to look into the idea of our own evolution through the the time traveler and the hunger and what it costs to live in utopia

  6. The topic that I want to cover is the utopian society and how we are attempting to achieve it through cyberspace. Several of our readings so far will be easily and extensively referenced.

  7. I would like to compare the mentality/ideas of early cyberspace pioneers and hackers..the modem, phone phreaks, with their literary counterparts. Kevin Mitnick, The Mentor, etc.. It is just an idea in the development stage. I’m trying to think of a more specific focus concerning literary characters.

  8. In my paper, I’d like to further explore the idea and possibilities of multiple threads of time simultaneously occurring. The Garden of the Forking Paths would play a major part in my research, as well as the ideas I discussed in Response Assignment #3 regarding hypertext. Multiple windows are opened and follow different paths, but both end up in the “History” file. I would also like to delve deeper into The Hunter Out of Time and explore what Comerford sees when he looks through the black oval. He mentions being able to see other worlds and I would like to read more to see if it has any correlation to the ideas in The Garden of the Forking Paths.

  9. I like talk more about time traveling. I like to talk in depth of the parallels of time traveling. Possibly the themes of the different worlds. I would like to compare the difference between time traveling and cyberspace.

  10. Kimberly McGuire

    The ideas in which i would like to discuss in the essay are gender roles, the internet as a (communist) Utopia, and Soul (do cyborgs have souls?) The texts in which I will refernece are City of the Sun, Frankenstein, and The Souls of Cyberfolk;Posthumanism as Vernacular Theory (thomas foster).

  11. The idea that I would like to discuss is around Gibson’s works and the effect that his works have had upon the creation of Cyberspace as we know it today. Gibson’s works are very well known thoughout the community and I’m curious as to how much Gibson’s works are predicting what the internet has become, and/or to what extent it has created what the internet has become.

  12. My paper will focus on a theme most explicitly expressed in “Metropolis,” that the heart (or soul, spirit, etc.) needs to mediate between the brain and the hands. Much of what we have read has dealt with the idea of living in a world where technology has advanced beyond our imaginations, but people still seem miserable, or their creations have gotten out of control. The 3 most obvious examples to me would be “Frankenstein,” “Nueromancer,” and “Snow Crash.”

  13. I’m not really sure what I would like to be the focus of my paper. What I’ve been most interested in is the technologies described, specifically in Neuromancer and Snow Crash, and if they’re really so farfetched. Some of the leaps made in terms of the technology described in these texts are beyond walking before you can crawl, these are a full sprint.

  14. I’m interested in exploring the blurring of the virtual and the real…I guess the question I’d like to ask in forming my thesis is, ‘Can the virtual and the real blend to the point where neither is recognizable?’ In many of the readings we’ve discussed, the physical world is still there as an anchor to prove the the virtual illusory. What happens when we begin to cross the boundary of the ‘real’ world with the virtual? Is this even possible?

  15. I’m interested in the actual technology of Snow Crash. Similar to “rofl” I’d like to explore what we are actually working towards in real life. The question is basically: ‘Will the metaverse and tools used for connecting to it be technologically possible in the relatively near future, and what would it mean to real society?’

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