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Comics (7 Miles a Second)

As a form, comics and graphic narratives are particularly well-suited for enacting posthumanism: they often employ radical juxtaposition and assemblage as method, and delineate subjectivity as a process of becoming in relation to animate and inanimate objects as well as human and nonhuman others.[1] In this entry, I discuss David Wojnarowicz, James Romberger, and Marguerite van […]

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Animal

  The interdisciplinary field of animal studies has grown in tandem with, but often in opposition to, popular and technophilic conceptions of posthumanism and the posthuman. The idea that ‘the human’ as we know it might be made increasingly obsolete by artificial intelligence has been around since the 1970s, when the literary critic Ihan Hassan […]

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Literature

Suppose that critical posthumanism invites us to say goodbye to ‘literature’ and to welcome it back in the same moment. So, “for centuries”, observes Jonathan Franzen, “ink in the form of printed novels has fixed discrete, subjective individuals within significant narratives”.[1] Humanist subjectivity and exceptionalism were instantiated in the ink and print cultures of ‘letters’, continuous […]

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Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)

The digital turn in filmmaking provides the potential to communicate a posthuman perspective on the interrelationship between human and nonhuman realities. The fluid sense of interconnection that defines this expanded subject position has been defined variously by scholars of the posthuman. In her landmark 1999 work How We Became Posthuman, Katherine N. Hayles describes the […]

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Electronic Literature

If one accepts the widely-used definition of electronic literature as literature that is ‘born digital’, one can immediately sense the ways in which electronic literature may be thought of as a literature, if there is any, of the posthuman, or at least, literature which problematises its own relationship with the human. Katherine Hayles takes this […]

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Frankenstein

As the story of a living being created not by conven­tional reproductive means but by scientific endeavour, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus (first published in 1818) stands as one of the classic representations of the fears and hopes engendered by humanity’s harnessing of technological power, and the ambivalence occasioned by the prospect of […]

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Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction which explores posthuman identities primarily through the representation of close relationships between human subjectivity and artificial intelligence or computer hardware.[1] Its influences are wide-ranging with echoes of Raymond Chandler, Thomas Pynchon, and Philip K. Dick among others. The New Wave of science fiction which included Ursula K. Le […]

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Butler, Samuel (Erewhon)

Traditional notions of the humanist subject have been challenged in contemporary discourse by a growing awareness of what has been termed, following the work of Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler, the ‘originary technicity’ of the human. Recognising technicity as inherent to and inseparable from the human as such, contemporary theorists may be said to be […]

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