Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Grazia Quercia | Sapienza Università di Roma | Italy 


September 16th 2022 | 10.00 – 11.30
Panel #7 | “Bodies and Identities
Room G.127 | Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Milan, Largo Gemelli 1

From natural to cyber: a transmedia approach to body representation in techno-dystopias

The aim of this study is to interpret the role of the body within techno-dystopian narratives, characterised by the overcoming of nature/culture and mind/body dualisms (Haraway, 1991).The techno-dystopias, especially cyberpunk (Baccolini & Moylan, 2003; Berardi, 1994; Gibson et al., 2021), narrate the contradictions of postmodern society (Featherstone & Burrows, 2000), taking to the extreme the ruptures of risk society (Beck, 2000; Giddens, 1994) and the reconfiguration of a social system (Castells, 2002). In these narratives, the body reflects the symbolic meanings that coveythese cracks (Schmeink, 2016), becoming a battlefield in increasingly fluid identity processes, managing to narrate contradictions through the representation of the relationship between flesh, consciousness and technology (Dyens, 2000; Pitts, 2003). The body itself becomes a manifestation of the habitus in techno-dystopian societies. Through a transmedia approach (Leonzi et al 2019) we want to analyze the representations of the body through identity, the Self, bearer of symbolic values at the individual level, and aesthetics, the Persona, the communicative act of the body at the social level, between softand hardtraits. Analysing the intertextual storyworld, developed on a corpus of 35 selected dystopian texts (from 1995 to 2022; including films, series, anime, books, comics, video games), it emerges how representations of the body shifton a continuum between a natural state of the body (total rejection of technology) and a meta-corporeal state (abandonment of corporeality).

Grazia Quercia is PhD candidate of Communication, Social Research and Marketing at Sapienza University of Rome. She is a member of the editorial board of the Transmedia series by Armando Editore and a member of the research unit GEMMA (Gender and Media Matters). Her research interests include cultural and creative industries, digital media, seriality, transmedia studies, and gender representation. Latest publications: La forza vitale dell’universo narrativo di “Doctor Who”, with M. Antenore and G. Ciofalo, in Mediascapes Journal, 13, 2019; The Toon Gaze. La rappresentazione del femminile nei cartoni animati prescolari, with G. Ciofalo and S. Leonzi, in OCULA, 22 (2021).