Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

First Advisor

Brian Hauser

Second Advisor

Andrew Feffer




sci-fi, television, robotics, people, humanity


The science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica explores the differences between human and machine and the nature of identity. It expresses both our fascination with machines and our technophobia. In a society of explosive technological advances come technological anxieties. What will happen when we create life? As BSG posits, with autonomous machines come destruction and a new race of people who, not unlike us, are trying to define who they are. As the series progresses, an overarching question emerges: what is a "person"? Is personage determined by biology or by decision? Can machines have souls? This thesis approaches BSG through the lens of posthumanist theory and shows how the series both reflects cutting edge thinking about human identity in the 21st Century as well as offering new contributions to the posthumanist debate. Other works examined include Frankenstein and the film Blade Runner, both cautionary tales of the dangers of technology and the creation of artificial life.