Aesthetics and Identity in Blade Runner

Critical. May 2010. Posted July 2014. Revised and re-posted March 2019.

The essay addresses and discusses Blade Runner as a Gothic and postmodern work, in particular its use of Gothic tropes and aesthetics, notably transgression, terror and the Sublime, and the fragmentation of identity and derealisation of reality and knowledge. In the context, Edmund Burke’s, Ann Radcliffe’s and Jean-Francois Lyotard’s theories of the sublime and of terror are treated, as well as Jean Baudrillard’s theories of the hyperreal and symbolic death.

The Luddites

Historical. May 1996. Posted June 2014. Revised and re-posted February 2019.

In the midst of the war between England and revolutionary France, a minority of craftsmen rose up in revolt in the heart of industrial Northern England. They were named the “the Luddites”. Indignant at seeing their livelihoods and freedoms threatened by the increased use of machinery, they protested, rioted, and carried out sabotage.

The essay accounts for the conditions and events which led to the activities of the Luddites, the nature of those activities and the organisation of the Luddites, and how the British government responded to the situation.

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