“I’ll be back”—Neo-medieval cyborgization through the lens of Westworld’s main character Dolores

Here is the transcript of my talk for the virtual seminar series “What (is) Medieval”, designed to provoke thoughts on the Middle Ages and all its associated definitions and connotations, run by Emma Wells & Claire Kennan.

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Princess Gis(e)la of France

Special interests are one of the most common characteristics of people with autism*, and in my experience, they often come as a surprise. While watching Netflix’ series Vikings to examine the portrayal of King Alfred, a new “fixation” stroke me like lightning. Since her first appearance in Vikings, I became utterly obsessed with fascinated by princess Gisla. So, I did as I always do – googling & reading – and below are the results. An abridged version of this post is also published in the Ancient History Encyclopedia.

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Tarkovsky’s EYE Candy

Saturday night fever with my (equally nerdy and geeky) friends: from Amsterdam Central Station we take the ferry to visit a non-rectilinear polygon with spectacular large overhangs. Is it a boat? An iceberg? A huge sculpture of a seagull? Nope, it’s the film museum, called EYE and located on the other side of the equal-sounding lake, het IJ. Designed by Viennese architects association Delugan Meissl (famed for their work on the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart), the white and oddly shaped museum houses a museum, exhibitions, cinemas, a restaurant, and extensive (vintage) film-related collections. Next to its permanent display about the history of filmmaking, this autumn, EYE presents an exhibition and film programme on the oeuvre of a director who is not only among Russia’s most influential filmmakers but widely regarded as one of cinema’s godfathers: Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986). 

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A Good Place for Philosophy?

At the beginning of the 21st century, the philosophical discourse concerning good and evil seems to be subsumed into three major areas; meta-ethics which describes the nature of good and bad, normative ethics concerning how human beings ought to behave and applied ethics which attends to particular moral issues. All three of the above concepts find expression in the network television landscape, most explicitly through the Netflix sitcom The Good Place

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You – Me – Her => Us?

Romantic comedies, who doesn’t watch them every now and then? Cozy in your onesie, with Ben & Jerry’s on the couch, swept away by the handsome man and the beautiful woman in the all too familiar plots. At first they hate each other, but eventually, they fall in love (unfortunately, in real life, I often see this in reversed order). Or: they have to overcome all kinds of obstacles in the outside world in order to live happily ever after (at least that is what the characters seem to think at the time). Since the early beginnings of movie making, the so-called “romcom” has been a popular genre, which served as an identification for heterosexual, monogamous, cis-gender viewers (and made their expectations unrealistically high). And then, last year, on the Dutch Netflix suddenly an alternative romcom popped up, about polyamory: You – Me – Her

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Aspergirl Tilly is an asset to Star Trek

After Sesame Street, Star Trek has now also added an autistic looking character to the cast. In the new series, the viewers became acquainted with Sylvia Tilly, beautifully acted by Mary Wisema. Tilly appears to be an ‘Aspergirl’, a woman with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. Why is that? Is Tilly the first ‘Trekkie’ with ‘autistic’ traits? And why is it relevant at all whether there are ‘Aspies’ or other ‘autistic characters’ in Star Trek? Continue reading “Aspergirl Tilly is an asset to Star Trek”

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