• Reading Fictional Worlds of Technology with Ursula Franklin: Fail Safe and Constructed Realities

    Author(s):
    Ellen Forget, Alan Galey, Charu Sharma
    Editor(s):
    Kanishka Sikri (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/12s8-rg98
    Abstract:
    This working paper takes up Ursula Franklin’s concept of constructed reality, mentioned in her Massey Lectures, and expands upon her engagements with themes of power and technology as represented in literature, film, and other imaginative works. We consider what Ursula Franklin might have said about the power of fiction to shape our understanding of technology as practice, and take as our case study the 1962 novel and 1964 film Fail Safe, a Cold War-era dramatization of technological systems that threaten to cause an accidental nuclear war between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. We begin by analyzing Franklin’s (mostly passing) references to works of fiction, then turn to a close reading of Fail Safe through the lens of Franklin’s ideas, and conclude with a discussion of Cold War (techno)science-fiction as it relates to Franklin’s concerns about technology and militarism.
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    Published as:
    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    Attribution
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