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2018 Abstracts

Do Androids Dream of Literary Theory?

Zac Van Pelt, Southern Utah University

Can different literary theories be applied to the movie Bladerunner? The purpose of the research is to find common themes of literary theory and see if the themes of Bladerunner fit within these literary theories of post-structuralism and post-colonialism. I will be looking at two different Marxist theorists, Benjamin and his essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” and Jameson and his essay “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”. I will also be looking at Said’s essay “Orientalism” in regards to asserting that Bladerunner is also a post-colonial work. Within Benjamin’s essay I would be looking at the idea that humans are works of art and that androids are mechanical reproductions of said art and the implications of this in regards to originality. I will be looking at Jameson’s essay and the idea of consumerist society and how it ties in with Bladerunner as well as the novel that inspired Bladerunner, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The significance of this is seeing if this popular eighties cult classic is what it might reveal by looking at it with different literary theories. The concluding research will help illuminate how these theories can add a different viewing and reading in regards to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Bladerunner.