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Leonard Sanders

Doctor of Philosophy, (English)
Study Completed: 2009
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Postmodern Orientalism: William Gibson, Cyberpunk and Japan

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Sanders’ research considers the works of William Gibson in order to explore cyberpunk’s expansion from an emphatically literary moment in the mid 1980s into a broader multimedia cultural phenomenon. The study examines the representation of racial and cultural differences with specific reference to Japan and the formulation of global economic spaces and flows which structure the reception and production of cultural practices. Mr Sanders adopts the term postmodern orientalism to account for these developments which are uneven, paradoxical, yet mutually implicated and thus characterised by reciprocal causality. Cyberpunk is best understood as constituted in the field of popular and youth-media countercultural formations and practices, which readily includes Japanese popular cultural forms such as anime. Mr Sanders’ study further shows how postmodern dislocations and instances of oriental otherness in cyberpunk are played out in articulations of the virtual, notably cyberspace.

Associate Professor Joe Grixti
Associate Professor Jenny Lawn

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