Nov 1 2022
Proof That Tony Stark Has a Heart
This podcast is part of the Bodily Transgressions in Fantastika Media Symposium. Join the discussion on discord (https://discord.gg/zsMTBcnTcC) or on our Round Table Discussions on 12 November 2022 (https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89886254918). See www.fantastikajournal.com for details Background music by scottholmesmusic.com Podcast by: Eda Begüm Erer Proof That Tony Stark Has a Heart:A Look at the Notion of the Cyborg and Transcorporeality through the Bodily Modification of Heart Surgery with the Help of MCU’s Iron ManKeywords: Medical Humanities, Bodily Modification, Cyborg, New Materialism, TranscorporealityContent Warnings: Blood, Medical Violence, DepressionThis paper serves as a prologue to a larger book project on our metal connections to the world. Focusing on the metals inside the body, including braces, joint replacements, pacemakers, and particularly to my personal interest, stents and how metal is used to redirect the blood flow inside the body, I hope to analyze the different ways in which our bodies have been made desperate for metallic help. Focusing on Donna Haraway’s concept of the cyborg and what feminist ecocritic Stacy Alaimo terms as the “transcorporeal” existence of the human body, I look at the ways in which metal helps us be in optimal health, and the existential connotations and horror of a necessary cyborgness of living. To offer visual and emotional stimuli beyond personal experience, a popular cultural figure, Iron Man, is considered. The medical trauma and emotional suffering the character Tony Stark goes through after a life altering injury that makes him a figure that is more-than-human or better-than-human, is altered by showing his emotional and romantic growth which is emphasized by the famous saying for his arch reactor, what keeps him alive and a superhero, “the proof that Tony Stark has a heart”. The metallic modification, as portrayed in the figure of Tony Stark throughout several box office hit movies, has results beyond it’s intended purpose: to keep the body alive, or more importantly, to keep it human. The metal appendage haspsychological consequences beyond its nonliving help to alter the body. In a day and age where this sort of medical marvel has started to be widespread beyond the scope of science fiction and superhero movies, we need to once again renegotiate our concept of bodily existence, wholeness and the cyborg. Perhaps, soon enough one day, the concept of having a heart, or having a body, needs to be altered.About the Author: Eda Begüm Erer is an independent researcher who recently completed her MA in English Literature at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is currently preparing for her PhD studies. Her areas of interest include science fiction, dystopian narratives, ecocriticism and feminist new materialism. Disclaimer: The information and ideas in these podcasts are the property of the speakers. Fantastika Journal operates under the Creative Commons Licence CCBY-NC. This allows for the reproduction or transcription of podcasts for non-commercial uses, only with the appropriate citation information. All rights belong to the author. The views expressed in these podcasts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Fantastika Journal and its editorial board. Transcripts have been provided by the author and there may be small changes between the written script and audio recording. We apologize for any errors.