Cyborg

The term “cyborg,” a portmanteau of the words “cybernetic” and “organism,” was coined by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline in 1960 and was first used to describe an enhanced human being which, aided by technology, could endure the harsh conditions of outer space. Since then, this term has acquired different meanings, some of them conveyed by Diane Greco’s Cyborg: Engineering the Body Electric (1989). Published five years after Donna Haraway’s seminal essay “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” (1984), Greco’s work continues several discussions raised by Haraway. Greco demonstrates that a cyborg is not only a hybrid creature inhabiting fictional worlds. Instead, a “cyborg” is presented as a metaphor of human existence in a technological world, where devices can be used to control, but also, empower citizens. As Greco claimed, “[w]ith hypertext, as with any technology that transforms the relation of persons to machines, individual bodies can be possible sites either for domination or for transformation and resistance” (Greco, 1996: 23).

This entry is written by Daniela Côrtes Maduro, taken from the start of her Electronic Literature Directory