1st Edition

Transhumanism and Posthumanism in Twenty-First Century Narrative

Edited By Sonia Baelo-Allué, Mónica Calvo-Pascual Copyright 2021
    250 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Transhumanism and Posthumanism in Twenty-First Century Narrative brings together fifteen scholars from five different countries to explore the different ways in which the posthuman has been addressed in contemporary culture and more specifically in key narratives, written in the second decade of the 21st century, by Dave Eggers, William Gibson, John Shirley, Tom McCarthy, Jeff Vandermeer, Don DeLillo, Margaret Atwood, Cixin Liu and Helen Marshall. Some of these works engage in the premises and perils of transhumanism, while others explore the qualities of the (post)human in a variety of dystopian futures marked by the planetary influence of human action. From a critical posthumanist perspective that questions anthropocentrism, human exceptionalism and the centrality of the ‘human’ subject in the era of the Anthropocene, the scholars in this collection analyse the aesthetic choices these authors make to depict the posthuman and its aftereffects.

    (Trans/Post)Humanity and Representation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Anthropocene: An Introduction. Sonia Baelo-Allué and Mónica Calvo-Pascual

    Section I. Theoretical Approaches: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

    1. Before Humanity: Or, Posthumanism Between Ancestrality and Becoming Inhuman. Stefan Herbrechter

    2. From Utilitarianism to Transhumanism: A Critical Approach. Maite Escudero-Alías

    3. Posthuman Modes of Reading Literature Online. Alexandra Glavanakova

    Section II. Transhumanism: The Uneasiness of Human Enhancement

    4. Vigilance to Wonder: Human Enhancement in TED Talks. Loredana Filip

    5. Patterns of Posthuman Numbness in Shirley & Gibson’s "The Belonging Kind" and Eggers’s The Circle. Francisco Collado-Rodríguez

    6. Subjects of the ‘Modem’ World: Writing U. in Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island. Margalida Massanet Andreu

    Section III. Transhumanism: Trauma and (Bio)Technology

    7. The Paradoxical Anti-Humanism of Tom McCarthy’s C: Traumatic Secrets and the Waning of Affects in the Technological Society. Susana Onega

    8. Don DeLillo’s Zero K: Transhumanism, Trauma, and the Ethics of Premature Cryopreservation. Carmen Laguarta-Bueno

    9. A Dystopian Vision of Transhuman Enhancement: Speciesist and Political Issues Intersecting Trauma and Disability in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. Miriam Fernández-Santiago

    Section IV. Posthumanity: Post-Anthropocentric Scenarios

    10. The Call of Anthropocene: Resituating the Human through Trans- & Posthumanism;

    Notes of Otherness in Works of Jeff Vandermeer and Cixin Liu. Justus Poetzsch

    11. "Am I a person?" Biotech Animals and Posthumanist Empathy in Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne. Monica Sousa

    12. Posthuman Cure: Biological and Cultural Motherhood in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam. Esther Muñoz-González

    13. Posthuman Transformation in Helen Marshall’s The Migration. Sherryl Vint

    Conclusion: Towards a Post-Pandemic, (Post)Human World. Sonia Baelo-Allué and Mónica Calvo-Pascual


    Sonia Baelo-Allué is Senior Lecturer at the Department of English and German of the University of Zaragoza (Spain) where she currently teaches U.S. Literature and British and American Culture.

    Mónica Calvo-Pascual is Senior Lecturer at the Department of English and German of the University of Zaragoza (Spain) where she teaches Contemporary U.S. Literature and British Culture.

    "The book is thus a brilliantly assembled and articulated look at both the literature of the last decade reflecting  on  some  of  the  most  pressing  issues  of  our  time  and  the  theoretical  and  practical implications of those same issues." - Ilaria Biano