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.
Table of Contents
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”
Tony M. Vici is an Assistant Professor of English at Ohio University-Chillicothe.