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

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Overview

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, and many other related topics. This book will interest students in cultural studies, literature, ethics, religion, information technology, and the life sciences.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Graham (theology, Univ. of Manchester; Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty) covers the often-visited issue of what it means to be human, taking a different slant by exploring the matters of "posthumanism." Graham aptly explores the impact of today's technologies and representations of that impact in popular culture. From Frankenstein's monster to the Human Genome Project to the 1999 film Galaxy Quest, she draws on a wide variety of subjects to examine the question of what it means to be human. Although examples from popular culture are found throughout, the writing and subject are quite academic in nature and not intended for the casual reader. Recommended for academic libraries supporting programs in philosophy or cultural studies. Sarah Jent, Univ. of Louisville Lib., KY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813530598
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Series Editor's Foreword
Preface: On cathedrals, canals and computers
Introduction: Mapping the post/human 1
Pt. I Science/Fiction
1 Representing the post/human 20
2 The gates of difference 38
Pt. II Monstrosity, Genealogy and Representation
3 What made Victor's creature monstrous? 62
4 Body of clay, body of glass 84
5 In whose image? The politics of representation 109
Pt. III Post/Humanities
6 Much ado about Data 132
7 'Nietzsche gets a modem': transhumanism and the technological sublime 154
8 The end of the 'human'? 176
9 Cyborg writing 200
10 Gods and monsters 221
References 235
Index 253
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