1st Edition

Cyborg Saints Religion and Posthumanism in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

By Carissa Smith Copyright 2020
    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    Saints are currently undergoing a resurrection in middle grade and young adult fiction, as recent prominent novels by Socorro Acioli, Julie Berry, Adam Gidwitz, Rachel Hartman, Merrie Haskell, Gene Luen Yang, and others demonstrate. Cyborg Saints: Religion and Posthumanism in Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction makes the radical claim that these holy medieval figures are actually the new cyborgs in that they dethrone the autonomous subject of humanist modernity. While young people navigate political and personal forces, as well as technologies, that threaten to fragment and thingify them, saints show that agency is still possible outside of the humanist construct of subjectivity. The saints of these neomedievalist novels, through living a life vulnerable to the other, attain a distributed agency that accomplishes miracles through bodies and places and things (relics, icons, pilgrimage sites, and ultimately the hagiographic text and its reader) spread across time. Cyborg Saints analyzes MG and YA fiction through the triple lens of posthumanism, neomedievalism, and postsecularism. Cyborg Saints charts new ground in joining religion and posthumanism to represent the creativity and diversity of young people’s fiction.


    Chapter One: Neomedievalist Saints and the Embodiment of Hagiographic History

    Chapter Two: Cyborg Saints, Born and Made

    Chapter Three: "Are We Not All Things?": Relics, Posthumanist Agency, and Intersubjectivity

    Chapter Four: The Virgin Martyr of Comics: Distributed Agency and Saintly Iconography

    Chapter Five: Posthumanist Pilgrimage: Trans-corporeal Journeys

    Chapter Six: "Holy Dog!": Animal Studies, Tolerance Discourse, and Posthumanist Ethics


    Carissa Turner Smith is Professor of English at Charleston Southern University.