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Cloning and film: fictional vectors of factual imaginaries

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This paper demonstrates the ways in which film operates as a vector for a factual imaginary in relation to cloning. Drawing on three films, _The Boys From Brazil_ (1978), Jurassic Park (1997), and Godsend (2004), the paper outlines some of the dynamics of this over the latter half of the 20th century by examining dimensions of production, circulation and consumption.

The paper, in relation to debates about public engagement with science, illustrates the point that fiction can be understood as a contribution to knowing about science. It further suggests that the visual dimension of film, as well as the scope of circulation, contributes to the way recent history is understood. Finally, the paper suggests that film’s relationship to the sciences in general, and a cloning imaginary in particular, has shifted since the late-twentieth century and the paper concludes by offering an interpretation of this in relation to contemporary biopolitics.

This seminar links to the series of six films on reproduction that begins at the Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge, on 7 March:

This talk is part of the History of Medicine Seminars series.

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