Presentation Title

A Clone Manifesto: The Posthuman Gender Politics of Orphan Black

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

MSE 011

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Orphan Black is a Canadian science-fiction television series that focuses on the protagonist Sarah Manning who discovers that she has several clone sisters after witnessing the suicide of a doppelgänger. The clone sisters team up together to further investigate the nature of the experimentation that led to their cloning. In this study I have identified a tension in the show between its posthuman and resolutely feminist politics, which invite competing ways to think about subjectivity and female friendships. I explore posthuman theorists such as Donna Haraway, whose notion of the ‘cyborg’ thinks of gender as a fluid embodiment rather than a taxonomic and stable concept that is contextualized from a patriarchal system. In my research I ask how does the representation of cloning and the tone of the show critique and further Haraway’s cyborg theory and other posthumanist thought towards a productive coalition building that does not adhere to universalizing and exclusionary practices. I contend that the clone’s identities in Orphan Black provide an interestingly ironic reconciliation of the shows competing posthuman and feminist politics.

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Nov 12th, 11:45 AM Nov 12th, 12:00 PM

A Clone Manifesto: The Posthuman Gender Politics of Orphan Black

MSE 011

Orphan Black is a Canadian science-fiction television series that focuses on the protagonist Sarah Manning who discovers that she has several clone sisters after witnessing the suicide of a doppelgänger. The clone sisters team up together to further investigate the nature of the experimentation that led to their cloning. In this study I have identified a tension in the show between its posthuman and resolutely feminist politics, which invite competing ways to think about subjectivity and female friendships. I explore posthuman theorists such as Donna Haraway, whose notion of the ‘cyborg’ thinks of gender as a fluid embodiment rather than a taxonomic and stable concept that is contextualized from a patriarchal system. In my research I ask how does the representation of cloning and the tone of the show critique and further Haraway’s cyborg theory and other posthumanist thought towards a productive coalition building that does not adhere to universalizing and exclusionary practices. I contend that the clone’s identities in Orphan Black provide an interestingly ironic reconciliation of the shows competing posthuman and feminist politics.