The transformative potential of the posthuman is undeniable.
Technoscientific cultures, global economic challenges, looming environmental disaster, the spread of digitalisation, the rise of biomedia and the erosion of traditional demarcations between human and nonhuman all call for alternative ways of thinking about humanity and its environments.
Posthumanism is a paradigm emerging from the challenges to humanism, humanity and the human that these developments pose. It responds to anthropocentrism, speciesism and biopolitics, and informs new creative practices like bioart and electronic literature. It impacts institutional changes across the life sciences, new media, the digital humanities and the posthumanities. It reflects the ways in which people’s lives are reshaped in the embracing of digital lifestyles, virtualisation and moves towards various kinds of prosthesization and human enhancement.
Critical posthumanism investigates and contextualizes the transformative potential of these developments and relates them to past and existing traditions, ideas and practices. The academics, artists and writers connected by the Critical Posthumanism Network share the conviction that the decentring and critiques of the human implied in posthumanism offer paradigms that speak searchingly of the immediate present and of imminent futures. At the same time those very paradigms will also benefit from a self-critical and historicizing move bearing upon prefigurations, disavowals and alternative/emergent scenarios of the human, nonhuman, posthuman.