Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 2

Carlin Wing


I examine three robots in Science Fiction, Data from the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, David from the movie A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, and Deckard from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? to examine how they are analogous to marginalized bodies. I analyze how the marginalization of robots works to disorient robots so their labor can be extracted, as I focus through their embodiment of a happy object, and how their desire is directed towards the narrative of the good life, the myth that a happy life is achieved through adhering to heteronormativity. I use heteronormativity as the hegemonic power enacted in institutions such as marriage or the nuclear family and how the robots must conform to them when they pursue humanness and therefore to be valued. In reality, they are valued for their ability to induce pleasure in the dominant subject as a happy object. While all three robots fail to escape the cage of pursuing the good life, each have queer moments which reject embodiment that abandons the self when they speak into reality their true lived experience. Rewriting cultural fantasies depends on refusing to internalize dehumanizing logic and rhetoric, and it is the basis for imagining a future that does not depend on adherence to heteronormativity and subjugation. To be able to dream is not to be accepted by normative society, but to relinquish artificiality of the self.