1st Edition

Posthuman Pathogenesis Contagion in Literature, Arts, and Media

Edited By Başak Ağın, Şafak Horzum Copyright 2022
    276 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    276 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This multi-vocal assemblage of literary and cultural responses to contagions provides insights into the companionship of posthumanities, environmental humanities, and medical humanities to shed light on how we deal with complex issues like communicable diseases in contemporary times. Examining imaginary and real contagions, ranging from Jeep and SHEVA to plague, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19, Posthuman Pathogenesis discusses the inextricable links between nature and culture, matter and meaning-making practices, and the human and the nonhuman. Dissecting pathogenic nonhuman bodies in their interactions with their human counterparts and the environment, the authors of this volume raise their diverse voices with two primary aims: to analyse how contagions trigger a drive to survival, and chaotic, liberating, and captivating impulses, and to focus on the viral interpolations in socio-political and environmental systems as a meeting point of science, technology, and fiction, blending social reality and myth. Following the premises of the post-qualitative turn and presenting a differentiated experience of contagion, this ‘rhizomatic’ compilation thus offers a non-hierarchised array of essays, composed of a multiplicity of genders, geographies, and generations.

    Foreword: Posthumanism in the Year of COVID-19

    Pramod K. Nayar

    An Implosive Introduction: Haunted Experiences, Affective Assemblages, and Collective Imaginings

    Başak Ağın and Şafak Horzum

    Part I: Discontents of the Human and Its Others

    1. Yearning for the Human in Posthuman Times: On Camus’ Tragic Humanism
    2. Stefan Herbrechter

    3. Viruses as Posthuman Biocultural Creatures: Parasites, Biopolitics, and Contemporary Literary Reflections
    4. Kerim Can Yazgünoğlu

      Part II: Pathogenic Temporalities

    5. Viral Temporalities: Literatures of Disease and Posthuman Conceptions of Time
    6. Ruth Clemens and Max Casey

    7. Pathogenic Hugs and Ambiguous Times: The Joy Epidemic in Gumball
    8. André Vasques Vital

      Part III: Pestilentia Loquens: Narrative Agency of Disease

    9. Symbiotic Adaptation in Posthuman Feminist Environs: Viral Becomings in Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite
    10. Şafak Horzum

    11. Power or Despair: Contagious Diseases in Turkish History and Miniature Paintings
    12. Z. Gizem Yılmaz Karahan

      Part IV: Contagious Networks of Communication

    13. Hyperobjects, Network Ontologies, and the Pandemic Response in Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Radio
    14. Jayde Martin and Ben Horn

    15. Entangled Humans, Entangled Languages: A Posthumanist Applied Linguistic Analysis of COVID-19 on Reddit
    16. Tan Arda Gedik and Zeynep Arpaözü

      Part V: From Medical Humanities to Medical Posthumanities

    17. HIV, Dependency, and Prophylactic Narrative in Bryan Washington’s "Waugh"
    18. Stian Kristensen

    19. The Vampire as Posthumanist Pharmakon: Towards a Critical Medical Humanities

    Ronja Tripp-Bodola

    CODA: Affirming the Pathogenesis

    Başak Ağın

    Afterword: Posthuman Healing and Revealing

    Francesca Ferrando


    Başak AĞIN, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English Literature and faculty member at TED University, Ankara, Turkey. She is the founder of "PENTACLE: Posthuman Entanglements of Culture, Literature, and Environment," the first Turkish website dedicated to posthumanities (https://thepentacle.org). Her monograph, Posthümanizm: Kavram, Kuram, Bilim-Kurgu (["Posthumanism: Concept, Theory, Science-Fiction"] 2020, Siyasal), is the first Turkish work to explore science fiction literary/filmic narratives in light of posthumanist-new materialist theories. Dr. Ağın edited M. Sibel Dinçel’s Turkish translation of Simon C. Estok’s The Ecophobia Hypothesis (2018, Routledge), which came out in 2021 as Ekofobi Hipotezi (Cappadocia UP), and is currently editing a Turkish handbook of environmental, medical, digital, and posthumanities. She is also co-editing an international volume, Ecofeminism and World Literature: African, Middle Eastern, and Asian Perspectives, with Douglas Vakoch. Her articles appeared in scholarly journals like Neohelicon, CLCWeb, Translation Review, and Ecozon@.

    Şafak HORZUM, Ph.D., is an independent scholar based in Ankara, Turkey. A former Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Harvard University, Department of English, he focuses on the human-nonhuman relations in fantasy fiction, specifically in the works of Jonathan Swift and Lewis Carroll in his doctoral dissertation. Horzum was awarded in 2016 the ASLE grant for his Turkish-English translation of Oya Baydar’s postapocalyptic novel The General of the Garbage Dump, which awaits its publisher. Having received the travel grant from the Ehrenpreis Center for Swift Studies, he will join Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in 2022. Horzum’s publications in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals concentrate on translation studies, the theories of men and masculinities as well as queer sexualities in British drama and fiction from the seventeenth century onwards. Horzum is also one of the editors of "PENTACLE: Posthuman Entanglements of Culture, Literature, and Environment," the first Turkish website dedicated to posthumanities (https://thepentacle.org).