They speak their minds in “Reload: Rethinking Women + Cyberculture” (MIT Press, 2002), a groundbreaking collection of theoretical and fictional writing, including cyberpunk, edited by Austin Booth, a senior assistant librarian at UB, and Mary Flanagan, professor of art at the University of Oregon and former UB faculty member.
In it, 27 authors consider the effects of rapid and profound technological change on culture and, in particular, the revolutionary and reactionary effects of cyberculture on women’s lives and identities.
They examine how conceptions of gender are embodied in different technologies and how those, in turn, shape our notions of maleness and femaleness. Their observations are quite explicit, ranging from the use of language in technology to the presentation of women in cyberpunk fiction.
The contributors include women who have lived in some province of the cyberworld as early as the 1930s. Most are contemporary scholars and authors who are up to speed on advanced technology, neuropolitics, culture jamming and the latest technobuzz.
Booth frequently publishes in refereed journals on women in cyberspace and information studies, and currently is working on a book titled “Bodies at Work: Women’s Work in Cyberfiction, Cyberculture and Cyberfeminism.” Flanagan is the author of a number of articles on gender and narrative in virtual worlds and has produced many innovative media projects, including Internet games, a networked version of the phage computer virus and “Career Moves,” a computer-controlled board game that explores ideas about women and work.