Few media franchises can match The Matrix for enthusiasm of reception and subsequent proliferation. Who in 1999 could have imagined that the momentum of a single film would sustain two more major theatrical releases in a single year, a collection of nine anime cartoons, a best-selling computer game, and more websites than can be counted? Jacking In To The Matrix Trilogy will be the first academic study to take an in-depth look at all of these products, a coherent overview of the franchise as a whole. The Matrix films are rich with mythological and religious references, as well as drawing upon futuristic fiction. Such richness demands a variety of decoding interpreting skills, and the array of talent in this volume will lay bare many of the strand that have given the Matrix creations such a sense of magic. The book gathers original articles that comment on the cultural and religious implications of The Matrix trilogy, its place within the cyberworlds of contemporary literature and philosophy, and its portrayal of gender and race. The volume also makes conjectures about the ethical and social consequences of taking either the red of the blue pill. Jacking In To The Matrix Trilogy wil
Table of Contents
Introduction: William G. Doty, The University of Alabama, "The Deeper You Go, the More Complex It Seems, and the Dizzier I Feel"; Section 1: Cultural And Religious Implications; Chapter 1: Richard R. Jones, Lee University, "American Religion, Community, and Revitalization: Why The Matrix Resonates"; Chapter 2: John Shelton Lawrence, Morningside College, "Gimme that Bullet Time Religion, or The Dream of Spiritually Perfect Violence"; Chapter 3: Rachel Wagner, Southwestern University, and Frances Flannery-Dailey, Hendrix College, "Ultimate Reality: Buddhist and Gnostic Constructions of Bliss"; Section 2: Theorizing Cyberworlds; Chapter 4: Matthew Kapell, The University of Michigan-Dearborn and Wayne State University, "Do Empty Books and Empty Ammunition Clips Mean the Ideas are Empty As Well?"; Chapter 5: Gary Hoppenstand, Michigan State University, "Highly Technical Boys and Girls in the Digital Wonderland of Pop Culture"; Chapter 6: Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, Central Michigan University, "Biomorph: The Posthuman Living Thing"; Section 3: Jacking In To Issues Of Gender And Race; Chapter 7: Isis I.M.O. Leslie, "Romantic Subjectivity of the Self-made Ideal"; Chapter 8: C. Richard King and David Leonard, Washington State University, "Is Neo White? Reading Race, Watching the Trilogy"; Section 4: The Games And Ethics Of Simulation; Chapter 9: Tim Mizelle, Duke, "Parallel Realities: Enter the Matrix via 'Strange Loops' "; Chapter 10: Russell Blackford, Professional Science Fiction Novelist and Critic, "What Might Be Wrong with Living in a Matrix?"; Conclusion: At the Edge of the World, Again
Matthew Kapell is Visiting Lecturer of Anthropology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. William G. Doty is a retired Professor of Humanities and Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He has published 16 books and over 70 essays in a wide range of academic journals.