Altered Carbon (Netflix 2018-), still from title sequence

Altered Carbon (Netflix 2018-), still from title sequence

An area of multiple panels for the 2019 Film & History Conference: Citizenship and Sociopathy in Film, Television, and New Media November 13-17, 2019

Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, Madison, WI (USA)

Full details at:

Extended deadline for abstracts: 7/10/19

In Altered Carbon (2018), Takeshi Kovacs finds himself downloaded into one cadaver after another, only to serve the interests of the powerful Elites. Alphaville (1965) find secret agent Lenny Caution on a mission to overthrow the despotic computer Alpha 60. Videodrome (1983) has Max Wrenn develop a relationship with the media stream he has created for gratuitous torture porn. With Tron (1982) Kevin Flynn enters the game grid, when the Master Control supercomputer views him as a threat to be disposed of.

Cyberpunk, as seen in the above examples, considers the human condition as we grapple with technologies that make a larger, more interconnected world. Often dystopic, sometimes hopeful, our protagonists in Cyberpunk must reconcile their understanding of the world with the way Virtual space and cybernetics alters it. Questions posed by this sub-genre of science fiction include: Could we lose our sense of self in the virtual space? Is a cyborg still human? If you keep being resurrected, does death matter anymore?

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The Humanity of Cyborgs
  • Disposable human bodies
  • Torture in cyberspace
  • The Terminator and its sequels
  • The Matrix and its malcontents
  • Game Grids in movies
  • VR games and their users such as in Avalon
  • The strange case of Battle Angel Alita
  • The Holodeck and how it’s used in Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Orville

This area welcomes proposals for 20 minute papers the focus on a wide range of issues in Cyberpunk in Film, Television, and New Media. Proposals for complete panels of three related presentations are also welcome, but should include an abstract and contact information, including email, for each presenter.

Please email your 200 word proposal to the area chair: Benjamin Franz, Medgar Evers College –