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Narratives 2


Fri 28. 8.  14:00 - 15:30
room FCE C217

Zeus pregnancies? Fictional filmic images and imaginaries of human cloning and male parthenogenesis


Bartoletti, Roberta
University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy

Procreation offers a privileged perspective on the relationship between genders and particularly on the different values of the two sexes (Héritier). The paper focuses on a recurring theme in (not just) western imaginary: male appropriation of female maternal power, exemplified by the mythological extraordinary birth of Athena from Zeus’s head (Kerényi, Vernant). We argue that the scientific myth of human cloning allows representing male desires of self-procreation bypassing women’s bodies. We analysed a significant panel of fictional films on human cloning from the period 1997-2013. In these fictional stories human cloning is represented mostly as masculine techno-scientific parthenogenesis, but the relation of the new Zeus with female figures is underrepresented. We notice that, more radically, the relationship between sexes is repressed in the imagery of human cloning, even if it constitutes a central and challenging point. In the paper we refers to the perspectives of cultural studies and feminist studies on science and technology (Duden, Franklin, McNeil, Haraway, Braidotti).