Ghost, Android, Animal challenges the notion that trauma literature functions as a healing agent for victims of severe pain and loss by bringing trauma studies into the orbit of posthumanist thought. Investigating how literary representations of ghosts, androids, and animals engage traumatic experience, this book revisits canonical texts by William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and aligns them with experimental and popular texts by Shirley Jackson, Philip K. Dick, and Clive Barker. In establishing this textual field, the book reveals how depictions of non-human agents invite readers to cross subjective and cultural thresholds and interact with the "impossible" pain of others. Ultimately, this study asks us to consider new practices for reading trauma literature that enlarges our conceptions of the human and the real.
Part One 1. “Mapping the Homeland of the Unknown: Trauma, Narrative, and Posthuman Ethics” 2. “A Sound ‘Almost Human’: The Open Wound, Anti-Anthropocentric Authority, and Posthuman Identities in Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses!” Part Two 3. “‘A Piece of a World of Ghosts’: Working-Through Spectrality Studies and Racial Trauma in Toni Morrison’s Beloved” 4. “Animal Sacraments: Trans-Subjective Animality in William Heyen’s Crazy Horse in Stillness” 5. “Posthuman Wounds: Traumatic Deferment and the Trans-Subjective Soul in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Epilogue “Trauma and the Fantastic”
In recent years, many disciplines within the humanities have become increasingly concerned with non-human actors and entities. The environment, animals, machines, objects, weather, and other non-human beings and things have taken center stage to challenge assumptions about what we have traditionally called "the human." Informed by theoretical approaches like posthumanism, the new materialisms, (including Actor Network Theory, Object-Oriented Ontology, and similar approaches) ecocriticism, and critical animal studies, such scholarship has until now had no separate and identifiable collective home at an academic press. This series will provide that home, publishing work that shares a concern with the non-human in literary and cultural studies. The series invites single-authored books and essay collections that focus primarily on literary texts, but from an interdisciplinary, theoretically-informed perspective; it will include work that crosses geographical and period boundaries. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.