Borders, Scribes. and SubJects: Renell0tlatlnll the Boundaries of Subjectivity In the Novels of Neal Stephenson and Octavia E. Butler

Stephen Conway, Butler University


I will examine how Stephenson and Butler use tropes of science fiction to problematize individual subjectivity in their novels. Each author challenges and renegotiates boundaries of subjectivity, creating and examining potentially subversive politics of identity. These boundaries are manifest across the spectrum of human perception. I will focus on border/boundary metaphors and their relation to processes of subjective transcription in five novels in order to examine if, how, and by whom borders are altered or challenged, and how these changes effect subject positions to provide partial knowledge/awareness of subjectivity.