Orphan Black (Book)
Performance, Gender, Biopolitics
This book presents a groundbreaking exploration of the hit television series Orphan Black and the questions it raises for performance and technology, gender and reproduction and biopolitics and community. Contributors come from a range of backgrounds and explore the digital innovations and technical interactions between human and machine that allow the show to challenge conventional notions of performance and identity, address family themes, and Orphan Black's own textual genealogy within the contexts of science, reproductive technology and the politics of gender, and extend their inquiry to the broader question of community in a "posthuman" world of biopolitical power. Mobilizing philosophy, history of science and literary theory, scholars analyze the ways in which Orphan Black depicts resistance to the many forms of power that attempt to capture, monitor and shape life today.
Orphan Black: Performance, Gender, Biopolitics is an edited collection that covers the areas in which the series has generated the most academic interest: performance and technology; gender and reproduction; biopolitics and community.
Chapters explore the digital innovations and technical interactions between human and machine that allow the show to challenge conventional notions of performance and identity, while others address family themes and Orphan Black’s own textual genealogy within the contexts of (post-)evolutionary science, reproductive technology and the politics of gender. Still others extend that inquiry on family to the broader question of community in a ‘posthuman’ world of biopolitical power; here, scholars mobilize philosophy, history of science and literary theory to analyze how Orphan Black depicts resistance to the many forms of power that attempt to capture, monitor and shape life.
Andrea Goulet is professor and graduate chair of French and francophone studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Robert A. Rushing is professor of Italian and comparative literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Andrea Goulet and Robert A. Rushing
Part One: Performance/Technology/Gender
Gesture in Orphan Black
David F. Bell
Playing with TechnoDollies: The TV Actress and Other Technologies
Animating Cloning: Special Effects and Mediated Bodies in Orphan Black and Jurassic Park
Watching While (Face) Blind: Clone Layering and Prosopagnosia
Part Two: Reproduction/Biopolitics/Community
Game of Clones: Orphan Black’s Family Romance
John C. Stout
Orphan Black and the Ideology of DNA
Being Together: Immunity and Community in Orphan Black
The Dancing Women: Decoding Biopolitical Fantasy
Robert A. Rushing
The Replicant’s ‘Réplique’: Motherhood and the Posthuman Family as Resistance in Orphan Black
Afterword: Reflections on the Show, and Interviews with Cast, Crew and Creators
Appendix: Orphan Black Episodes 203
Notes on Contributors 217