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Arbeiten zur Amerikanistik / Band 35 

Peter Freese / Charles B. Harris (eds.)
Science, Technology, and the Humanities in Recent American Fiction

Essen 2004, 614 Seiten m. Abb., 58,00 EUR[D], ISBN 978-3-89924-082-5

Subject: Twenty-one essays by distinguished scholars from Germany and the United States offer an informative tour d’horizon of the complex interrelations between science and literature and demonstrate that contemporary American fictions provide numerous bridges which link what, half a century ago, C. P. Snow could still diagnose as ”Two Cultures” separated by mutual ignorance and hostility. The broad spectrum of topics ranges from a Hegelian reading of speed in recent U.S. fiction to the relation between performative code and figurative language in American literature, from literary explorations of network theory to fictional comments on risk assessment, from tales of an intelligent materialism in the age of artificial life to an exploration of technoromanticism and the limits of representationalism, and from versions of ground zero literature to the autopoiesis of American fiction. Among the authors whose texts are discussed in detail are Kurt Vonnegut, William Gaddis, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Robert Coover, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson, Richard Powers, Stephen Wright, Steven Millhauser, Carl Djerassi, and Colson Whitehead.

About the editors: 
Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Peter Freese held professorships at Kiel and Münster, guest professorships at Illinois State University and Eötvös Lorant University, was fellow in residence at the Claremont Colleges, and since 1979 has been Professor and Chair of American Studies at Paderborn University. He is the author and editor of 40 books and 150 articles and the editor of ‘Arbeiten zur Amerikanistik,’ Viewfinder, and ‘Paderborner Universitätsreden.’
Prof. Dr. Charles B. Harris directs the Unit for Contemporary Literature at Illinois State University, where he chaired the English Department for fifteen years. He is the author of several books and numerous articles and the publisher of American Book Review.

List of Contributors: 
PETER FREESE & CHARLES B. HARRIS: Introduction: The Holodeck in the Garden / KLAUS BENESCH: History on Wheels: A Hegelian Reading of ‘Speed’ in Contemporary American Literature and Culture / CHRISTIAN BERKEMEIER: Kingdoms of the Blind: Technology and Vision in Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend in a Coma and Stephen Spielberg's The Minority Report / HANJO BERRESSEM: ”Of Metal Ducks, Embodied Iduros and Autopoietic Bridges" – Tales of an Intelligent Materialism in the Age of Artificial Life / MICHAEL BÉRUBÉ: Race and Modernity in Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist / JOSEPH CONTE: The Virtual Reader: Cybernetics and Technocracy in William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's The Difference Engine / DAVID COWART: Anxieties of Obsolescence: DeLillo's Cosmopolis / CARL DJERASSI: Science-in-Fiction: Literary Contraband? / PETER FREESE: Science and Technology in Kurt Vonnegut's Œuvre / WALTER GRÜNZWEIG: Science-in-Fiction: Science as Tribal Culture in the Novels of Carl Djerassi / CHARLES B. HARRIS: Technoromanticism and the Limits of Representationalism: Richard Powers's Plowing the Dark / N. KATHERINE HAYLES: Performative Code and Figurative Language: Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon / UDO J. HEBEL: Performing the Spectacle of Technology at the Beginning of the American Century: Steven Millhauser's Martin Dressler / URSULA K. HEISE: Toxins, Drugs, and Global Systems: Risk and Narrative in the Contemporary Novel / ALFRED HORNUNG: "Flying Planes Can Be Dangerous": Ground Zero Literature / JOHN H. JOHNSTON: Are Rhizomes Scale-free?: Network Theory and Contemporary American Fiction / BRIAN McHALE: Mech/Shaper, or, Varieties of Prosthetic Fiction: Mathews, Sorrentino, Acker and Others / MICHAEL PORSCHE: Stephen Wright: Going Native (by Car) / JOSEF RAAB: From Intertextuality to Virtual Reality: Robert Coover's A Night at the Movies and Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash / SABINE SIELKE: Science/Fiction or The Future of North American Studies: European Perspectives / JOSEPH TABBI: William Gaddis and the Autopoiesis of American Literature / CURTIS WHITE: The Great American Disaster Machine / 

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