Algorithmic Governmentality in Project Ito’s “Harmony”

<null> me <null>: Algorithmic Governmentality and the Notion of Subjectivity in Project Itoh’s Harmony

Fatemeh Savaedi

Malayer University, Iran

Maryam Alavi Nia

The University of Sydney, Australia


Algorithmic governmentality is a new form of political governance interconnected with technology and computation. By coining the term “algorithmic governmentality,” Antoinette Rouvroy argues that this mode of governance reduces everything to data, and people are no longer individuals but dividuals (able to be divided) or readable data profiles. Implementing the concept of algorithmic governmentality, the current study analyses Project Itoh’s award-winning novel Harmony in terms of such relevant concepts as “subjectivity,” “infra-individuality” and “control,” as suggested by Rouvroy and colleagues. The analysis further draws on Foucault’s ideas of “governmentality” and “neoliberalism” and Deleuze’s concepts of “dividuality” and “society of control.” In Itoh’s fictional world, the entire society is subject to the new medical government, which replaced the chaotic world with a perfect but harrowing benevolent society, eradicating disease, suicide and crime. As elucidated in this paper, despite the dominant controlling government, there is a hope for humans to regain and reestablish their subjectivity and give meaning to their own personality by defying the nihilistic computational system.

Key Words: Algorithmic Governmentality; Society of Control; Infra-individuality; Dividuality; Consciousness; Project Itoh.

About the Authors

Fatemeh Savaedi has an M.A in English Literature from Malayer University, Iran. Her research interests are in the areas of literature, postcolonial studies, gender studies, philosophy and cyborgs.  She has presented articles on Deleuzian philosophical concepts in Toni Morrison’s novels. Her current studies focus on science fiction, cyber space, feminism and African-American literature.

Maryam Alavi Nia, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication and Writing Studies at the University of Sidney and a sessional academic in the Department of Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of communication, including political and health communications, social media, and linguistics. Her work combines discourse analysis with methodologies of media, rhetoric, and political communication. She has published on Iranian and American presidential debates and her current research focuses on networked audience’s perceptions of political messages on Twitter.

Published: 2021 – 06 – 01

Vol. 4 (2021) Cover

Issue: Vol 4 (2021): The Day that Coronavirus Stopped the Earth: What Do We Learn about Pandemics in Science Fiction Stories?

Section: Yearly Theme

Copyright (c) 2021 Fatemeh Savaedi and Maryam Alavi Nia

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