The Cybercultures Reader
David Bell, Barbara M. Kennedy
Psychology Press, 2000 - Computers - 768 pages
This text brings together articles covering the whole spectrum of cyberspace and related new technologies to explore the ways in which new technologies are reshaping cultural forms and practices at the turn of the century. The reader is divided into thematic sections focusing on key issues such as subcultures in cyberspace, posthumanism and cyberbodies, and pop-cultural depictions of human-machine interaction. Each section features: an introduction locating the essays in their theoretical and technological context; editor's introduction and accompanying user's guide; and an extensive bibliography. Issues include: theoretical approaches to cyberculture; representations in fiction and on film; the development of distinct cyber-subcultures; and feminist and queer approaches within cyberculture.
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**Note: the table of contents listed on this page has forgotten Michael Benedikt's excellent chapter, which should be listed between David Bell and Shawn Wilbur, and beginning on page 30.
The original edition of this reader is excellent, including many important contributions in the field, such as Timothy Leary's chapter on the cyberpunk. I highly recommend it, and have used this edition in several courses I teach. Students have not only very much enjoyed it, they have contacted me again in later years to say that they have found many of the pieces in this anthology to be useful in other courses.
*Unfortunately,* the editors made the decision to seriously overhaul this reader for the second edition (pink cover) without changing the tile or adding a subtitle to differentiate the two volumes. Approximately 45% of the material changed, and yet they retained the name. This decision caused widespread confusion and led to students getting wrong editions, as well as many of us teaching from this volume having to completely change our course syllabus because chapters we were teaching were suddenly no longer included in the new edition.
Shame on Routledge for either suggesting or allowing this sleight-of-hand. If the material changes this drastically, it really ought to come out under a different name or at least a different volume number, perhaps The Cybercultures Reader 2.
The second edition (pink cover) does contain many updated and diverse chapters, although it has cut many of the more established and iconic pieces. The second edition will be of more use to researchers in the field looking for more updated material. The first edition is more useful for those of us who are teaching in this field, and more useful for introducing newcomers to the field - advanced undergraduates, and graduates new to this foundational work.
I did complain to Routledge about changing the material so drastically while keeping the same title, but I received no real response from them whatsoever. Students are still scrambling to find first editions (green) and are saying it was much more helpful and accessible than the second (pink).
Shawn P Wilbur
NOTES ON THE ANTHROPOLOGY
Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker
cy be rf e m i nisms