The posthuman : hostis humani generis? : science fiction allegories/social narratives
Smith, Mark Bryan Bridger (2008) The posthuman : hostis humani generis? : science fiction allegories/social narratives. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2242365~S15
Whether in the guise of the novel or non-print media such as film and television,
fin-de-millennium science fiction has provided opportunities to envisage a
posthuman stage of evolution. The academic response to this has been polarized.
Certain elements have embraced the genre as integral to the sociocultural
relationship between unfettered biotechnological advance and the limitation of the
human flesh. Others have treated the topic as fanciful entertainment, leading them
to ignore and sometimes ridicule research on the posthuman. The thesis seeks to
utilise the contemporary science fiction allegory as an aid in developing a critique
of the emerging posthuman discourse, facilitating the analysis of its socio-political
dynamic, and questioning whether discourse advancement necessitates the
rejection of the humanist metanarrative.
The thesis is divided into six chapters. The first chapter differentiates the
posthuman from established biotechnological discourses, e mg the
discontinuities in global location, temporal engagement, and participant ideology.
The second reflects on the contemporary human condition associated with man's
technological ingenuity being a credible threat to his own existence. It then
outlines the epochal technoscience of the posthuman and introduces the
diametrically opposed standpoints of the posthuman as amelioration, or autoextinction.
The third chapter draws upon utopian visions of the future to
contextualise and assist in the critical analysis of narratives advocating posthuman
technoscience. The fourth chapter reverses this, by utilising dystopian imagery as
an entree into the rationale of those opposing human alteration, facilitating its
critique. The fifth chapter sees the science fiction allegory as a postfoundationalist
narrative, offering up a discursive mirror to the influences of
providence and progress on the posthuman debate. The final chapter examines
whether an a-humanist account of man's relationship with technology might help
to advance the posthuman debate.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Science fiction -- History and criticism, Future in literature, Human body in literature, Biotechnology in literature|
|Official Date:||May 2008|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Sociology|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Fuller, Steve, 1959-|
|Sponsors:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Extent:||vii, 365 leaves|
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