Surfing the interzones: posthuman geographies in twentieth century literature and film Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • McAulay, Alex
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
Abstract
  • This dissertation presents an analysis of posthuman texts through a discussion of posthuman landscapes, bodies, and communities in literature and film. In the introduction, I explore and situate the relatively recent term posthuman in relation to definitions proposed by other theorists, including N. Katherine Hayles, Donna Haraway, Judith Halberstam and Ira Livingston, Hans Moravec, Max More, and Francis Fukuyama. I position the posthuman as being primarily celebratory about the collapse of restrictive human boundaries such as gender and race, yet also containing within it more disturbing elements of the uncanny and apocalyptic. My project deals primarily with hybrid texts, in which the posthuman intersects and overlaps with other posts, including postmodernism and postcolonialism. In the first chapter, I examine the novels comprising J.G. Ballard's disaster series, and apply Bakhtin's theories of hybridization, and Deleuze and Guattari's notions of voyagings, becomings, and bodies without organs to delineate the elements that constitute a posthuman landscape. In the second chapter, I address Andy Warhol, Valerie Solanas, and Werner Herzog in terms of issues of identity, mechanization, and replication with regards to the posthuman. In chapter three, I turn to posthuman cinema, and apply the notion of the cyborg to the work of David Lynch, as well as delineate the elements that constitute a posthuman film through a discussion of the Danish Dogme 95 film movement. In chapter four, I extend my discussion of modified bodies to address texts by Iain Banks and Angela Carter in terms of gender disruptions and new myths for the posthuman age. The final chapter, Second Life vs. The Mole People, examines both the optimism that the posthuman provides and also th tangible, social cost of the posthuman, through a juxtaposition of the elite metaverse of Second Life with the homeless subway tunnel dwellers in New York City, termed the mole people.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Cooper, Pamela
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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  • Open access
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