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ERIC Number: ED533923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 227
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-7656-3
American Gadgets: Cybernetics, Consumer Electronics, and Twentieth-Century US Fiction
Simeone, Michael
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Challenging the argument that liberal humanism faces extinction in the face of ubiquitous digital technologies, my dissertation analyzes the ways in which consumer electronics reinscribe the human subject as a privileged category in the information age. Through spaces like the Matrix, Windows 7, or even the single row of play controls on a cassette deck, gadgets preserve the concept of human autonomy by yoking personal entertainment with technical knowledge, agency, citizenship, and individuality. In American postwar fiction and film, gadgets serve powerful functions that allow authors such as Thomas Pynchon, William S. Burroughs, Neal Stephenson, Pat Cadigan, and Richard Powers to explore the complexities of humankind's responses to technological and digital innovation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States