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COM2419 - The Cyborg Subject: Identity and Subjectivity in the 21st Century

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Patricia K.L. Goon


Not offered in 2007


This unit looks at changing identity and subjectivity practices in the 21st century, and at how the technologised subject has become a social, cultural and material cyborg. It is set up in three blocks: Studying the Self; The Cyborg Subject, and Cybersubjectivities, Cybercommunities, Cybertexts, Cyberperformances. The first block traces Enlightenment and colonial constructions of the self, and looks at key schools of thought and debate on subjectivity and identity. The second block looks at the seminal influence of Donna Haraway's work and current perspectives in cyborg theory. The last introduces the student to the many 'cyborged' performances and realities in everyday life and practice.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an awareness of the historical and cultural contexts which helped shape and lead to current notions of the self
  2. a basic grasp of the key debates, theories and schools of thought on subjectivity and identity formation
  3. a range of literacies/techniques for describing and analysing subjectivity/identity politics
  4. a critical and practical understanding of the cyborg practices encountered in everyday life and technology


Conceptual Essay (1000 words): 20%,
Analytical Essay (2000 words): 45%,
Tutorial Presentation (10 minutes) 5%,
One hour Exam (equivalent to 1000 words): 20%,
Tutorial Participation and Attendance throughout semester: 10%

Contact hours

1 two-hour lecture and 1 two-hour tutorial per week for 13 weeks


COM1010 and COM1020