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Rutgers University Press
Representations of the Post/Human: Monsters, Aliens, and Others in Popular Culture / Edition 1

Representations of the Post/Human: Monsters, Aliens, and Others in Popular Culture / Edition 1

by Elaine L. Graham


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Microchips. Genetic modification of plants. Cloning. Advances in technology promise to shape our lives more profoundly than ever before. Exciting new discoveries in reproductive, genetic, and information technologies all serve to call into question the immutability of the boundaries between humans, animals, and machines. The category of the “posthuman” reflects the implications of such new technologies on contemporary culture, especially in their capacity to reconfigure the human body and to challenge our most fundamental understandings of human nature.

Elaine L. Graham explores these issues as they are expressed within popular culture and the creative arts. From the myth of Prometheus and the Gothic horror of Frankenstein’s monster to contemporary postmodern science fiction, a gallery of fantastic creatures haunts Western myth, religion, and literature. They serve to connect contemporary debates with enduring concerns about the potential—and the limits—of human creativity.

This book breaks new ground in drawing together a wide range of literature on new technologies and their ethical implications. In her explorations of the monstrous and the cyborg, Graham covers the Jewish legend of the golem, the Human Genome Project, Star Trek: Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Donna Haraway’s cyborg writing, andmany other related topics. This book will interest students in cultural studies, literature, ethics, religion, information technology, and the life sciences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813530598
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figuresvii
Preface: On cathedrals, canals and computersix
Introduction: Mapping the post/human
On being human1
Enslavement or liberation?6
Representing the post/human10
The promise of monsters11
Science as salvation16
Part IScience/Fiction
1Representing the post/human20
Telling stories about technoscience20
Representation, rhetoric and reality25
Ontological hygiene33
2The gates of difference38
Myths and monsters38
The self made strange40
The gates of difference47
Post/human genealogies59
Part IIMonstrosity, Genealogy and Representation
3What made Victor's creature monstrous?62
Born or made?64
Naming the beast69
Revolting monsters71
Was Victor a 'mad scientist'?73
Whose monstrosity? Whose humanity?77
4Body of clay, body of glass84
On the golem and its symbolism87
The silence of the golem92
The servant95
Through the looking-glass101
Body of clay, body of glass107
5In whose image? The politics of representation109
Bio-power and parenting111
The geneticization of the post/human117
In whose image?123
Part IIIPost/Humanities
6Much ado about Data132
The 'good universe next door'134
Almost-human: Data137
Humanity under siege: the Borg144
Humanity restored: Seven of Nine148
Star Trek and representations of the post/human152
7'Nietzsche gets a modem': transhumanism and the technological sublime154
Technocratic futurism155
Nietzsche's modem173
8The end of the 'human'?176
Dehumanization and dystopia177
Humans as machines181
Virtual post/humanities187
Monsters in metropolis193
'Your Aura will not be your own'196
9Cyborg writing200
Cyborg manifestations201
Cyborg writing204
Cyborgs or goddesses?211
The 'crossed-out God'217
10Gods and monsters221
Telling stories, building worlds221
Technology and ontology223
Toward a post/human ethic225
Religion, culture and gender230
Beyond 'transcendence'231

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