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Xenotransplantation, Form-of-Life and Literary Fiction

Identity questions over the borders of the human are complicated in novels such as Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), Ninni Holmquist’s The Unit (2006) and Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series (2007–2014), which explore the role of new biology, and new life forms, in future societies.[1] In these texts, the survival of the human depends […]

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High-Tech Orientalism (Cyberpunk & Race)

‘The human is constantly created through the jettisoning of the Asian/Asian American other as robotic, as machine-like and not quite human […]’. These words, lifted from the extract of Wendy Hui Kyong Chun’s essay ‘Race and/as Technology or How to Do Things to Race’ below, point to the habitually unexamined racialised and colonial structures of […]

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Critical Posthumanism

  This entry originally appeared in Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova, eds., Posthuman Glossary (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018). Reproduced with permission. Critical posthumanism is a theoretical approach which maps and engages with the “ongoing deconstruction of humanism”.[1] It differentiates between the figure of the ‘posthuman’ (and its present, past and projected avatars, like cyborgs, monsters, […]

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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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