What makes us, or any other organism, “alive”? From the Paracelsian homunculus to human clones, this course explores the shifting debates surrounding the creation of artificial life and what constitutes life itself. We will consider the aesthetic, ethical, and moral implications of real and imagined technologies that aim to extend, manipulate, or even simulate life. We will also examine narratives about figures who seek to harness these technologies—is it hubris or innovation to claim the ability to create life? How did art and literature respond to and (re)imagine the making of different forms of life? Course readings will include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.