Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures

Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures Author Debashish Banerji
ISBN-10 9788132236375
Release 2016-10-07
Pages 277
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This volume is a critical exploration of multiple posthuman possibilities in the 21st century and beyond. Due to the global engagement with advanced technology, we are witness to a species-wise blurring of boundaries at the edge of the human. On the one hand, we find ourselves in a digital age in which human identity is being transformed through networked technological intervention, a large part of our consciousness transferred to "smart" external devices. On the other hand, we are assisted---or assailed---by an unprecedented proliferation of quasi-human substitutes and surrogates, forming a spectrum of humanoids with fuzzy borders. Under these conditions, critical posthumanism asks, who will occupy and control our planet: Will the "superhuman" merely serve as another sign under which new regimes of dominance are spread across the earth? Or can we discover or invent technologies of existence to counter such dominance? It is issues such as these which are at the heart of this new volume of explorations of the posthuman. The essays in this volume offer leading-edge thought on the subject, with special emphases on postmodern and postcolonial futures. They engage with questions of subalternity and feminism vis-à-vis posthumanism, dealing with issues of subjugation, dispensability and surrogacy, as well as the possibilities of resistance, ethical politics or subjective transformation from South Asian archives of cultural and spiritual practice. This volume is a valuable addition to the on-going global dialogues on posthumanism, indispensable to those, from across several disciplines, who are interested in postcolonial and planetary futures.



The Posthuman

The Posthuman Author Rosi Braidotti
ISBN-10 9780745669960
Release 2013-07-11
Pages 200
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The Posthuman offers both an introduction and major contribution to contemporary debates on the posthuman. Digital 'second life', genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics and reproductive technologies are familiar facets of our globally linked and technologically mediated societies. This has blurred the traditional distinction between the human and its others, exposing the non-naturalistic structure of the human. The Posthuman starts by exploring the extent to which a post-humanist move displaces the traditional humanistic unity of the subject. Rather than perceiving this situation as a loss of cognitive and moral self-mastery, Braidotti argues that the posthuman helps us make sense of our flexible and multiple identities. Braidotti then analyzes the escalating effects of post-anthropocentric thought, which encompass not only other species, but also the sustainability of our planet as a whole. Because contemporary market economies profit from the control and commodification of all that lives, they result in hybridization, erasing categorical distinctions between the human and other species, seeds, plants, animals and bacteria. These dislocations induced by globalized cultures and economies enable a critique of anthropocentrism, but how reliable are they as indicators of a sustainable future? The Posthuman concludes by considering the implications of these shifts for the institutional practice of the humanities. Braidotti outlines new forms of cosmopolitan neo-humanism that emerge from the spectrum of post-colonial and race studies, as well as gender analysis and environmentalism. The challenge of the posthuman condition consists in seizing the opportunities for new social bonding and community building, while pursuing sustainability and empowerment.



Posthuman Life

Posthuman Life Author David Roden
ISBN-10 9781317592310
Release 2014-10-10
Pages 220
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We imagine posthumans as humans made superhumanly intelligent or resilient by future advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. Many argue that these enhanced people might live better lives; others fear that tinkering with our nature will undermine our sense of our own humanity. Whoever is right, it is assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0. Posthuman Life argues that the enhancement debate projects a human face onto an empty screen. We do not know what will happen and, not being posthuman, cannot anticipate how posthumans will assess the world. If a posthuman future will not necessarily be informed by our kind of subjectivity or morality the limits of our current knowledge must inform any ethical or political assessment of that future. Posthuman Life develops a critical metaphysics of posthuman succession and argues that only a truly speculative posthumanism can support an ethics that meets the challenge of the transformative potential of technology.



Posthumous Life

Posthumous Life Author Jami Weinstein
ISBN-10 9780231544320
Release 2017-03-28
Pages 384
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Posthumous Life launches critical life studies: a mode of inquiry that neither endorses nor dismisses a wave of recent “turns” toward life, matter, vitality, inhumanity, animality, and the real. Following on from a questioning of the nature and limits of life in the natural sciences, essays in this volume question the limits and significance of the human and the humanites in the wake of various redefinitions of what counts as life. They explore the possibility of theorizing life without assuming it to be either a simple substrate or an always-mediated effect of culture and difference. Posthumous Life provides new ways of thinking about animals, plants, humans, difference, sexuality, race, gender, identity, the earth, and the future.



The Digital Dionysus

The Digital Dionysus Author Dan Mellamphy
ISBN-10 0692270795
Release 2016-09-12
Pages 286
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Can Nietzsche be considered a thinker of media and mediation, as the German media theorist Friedrich Kittler declared in his influential book Gramophone, Film, Typewriter? Nietzsche was a truly transdisciplinary thinker, one who never fit into his own nineteenth-century surroundings and who recognized himself as a "herald and precursor" of the future, of our globally-reticulated digital present. Perhaps not since Kittler has there been a study - let alone an anthology - that re-assesses and re-evaluates Nietzsche's thought in light of the technically mediated and machinic conditions of the human in the age of digital networks. Drawing on the first four years of conference-proceedings from the annual Nietzsche Workshop @ Western (NWW, Western University, Ontario), which culminated in the "New York NWW.IV": Cyber-Nietzsche: Tunnels, Tightropes, Net-&-Meshworks (held at the Center for Transformative Media, Parsons The New School for Design), The Digital Dionysus explores Nietzschean themes in light of the problems and questions of digitization, information and technical mediation, offering its readers the opportunity to consider Nietzsche's contemporary relevance in light of emerging theories in new media studies, political studies, critical aesthetics, the digital humanities and contemporary post-continental philosophy. Co-edited by Dan Mellamphy and Nandita Biswas Mellamphy (Western University, UWO) for the CTM Documents Initiative imprint (Center for Transformative Media, Parsons School of Design, The New School), the volume features essays and works by leading and emerging philosophers, artists, [h]activists, and political media theorists, including Babette Babich, R. Scott Bakker, Shannon Bell, Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, Jen Boyle, Sarah Choukah, Manabrata Guha, Horst Hutter, Arthur Kroker, Nicola Masciandaro, Dan Mellamphy, Joseph Nechvatal, Julian Reid, Gary Shapiro, Heike Schotten, Eugene Thacker and Dylan Wittkower.



The World Without Us

The World Without Us Author Alan Weisman
ISBN-10 9781448133475
Release 2012-08-31
Pages 336
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"On the day after humans disappear, nature takes over and immediately begins cleaning house - or houses, that is. Cleans them right off the face of the earth. They all go." What if mankind disappeared right now, forever ... what would happen to the Earth in a week, a year, a millennium? Could the planet's climate ever recover from human activity? How would nature destroy our huge cities and our myriad plastics? And what would our final legacy be? Speaking to experts in fields as diverse as oil production and ecology, and visiting the places that have escaped recent human activity to discover how they have adapted to life without us, Alan Weisman paints an intriguing picture of the future of Earth. Exploring key concerns of our time, this absorbing thought experiment reveals a powerful - and surprising - picture of our planet's future.



Posthumanism

Posthumanism Author Stefan Herbrechter
ISBN-10 9781780936222
Release 2013-08-01
Pages 240
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What does it mean to be human today? The answer to this question, which is as old as the human species itself, is becoming less and less certain. Current technological developments increasingly erode our traditional humanist reflexes: consciousness, emotion, language, intelligence, morality, humour, mortality - all these no longer demonstrate the unique character and value of human existence. Instead, the spectre of the 'posthuman' is now being widely invoked as the 'inevitable' next evolutionary stage that humans are facing. Who comes after the human? This is the question that posthumanists are taking as their starting point. This critical introduction understands posthumanism as a discourse, which, in principle, includes everything that has been and is being said about the figure of the 'posthuman'. It outlines the genealogy of the various posthuman 'scenarios' in circulation and engages with their theoretical and philosophical assumptions and social and political implications. It does so by connecting the philosophical debate about the future of humanity with a range of texts, including examples from new media, popular culture, science and the media.



Technophobia

Technophobia Author Daniel Dinello
ISBN-10 9780292709867
Release 2005
Pages 329
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Dinello examines the conflict between the techno-utopia promised by real world scientists and the techno-dystopia predicted by science fiction. The book summarises the current state of each technology, while presenting corresponding reactions in science fiction.



Unfit for the Future

Unfit for the Future Author Ingmar Persson
ISBN-10 9780199653645
Release 2012-07-19
Pages 143
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Unfit for the Future argues that the future of our species depends on radical enhancement of the moral aspects of our nature. Population growth and technological advances are threatening to undermine the conditions of worthwhile life on earth forever. We need to modify the biological bases of human motivation to deal with this challenge.



Biopunk Dystopias

Biopunk Dystopias Author Lars Schmeink
ISBN-10 9781781383322
Release 2017-01-01
Pages 288
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Biopunk Dystopias contends that we find ourselves at a historical nexus, defined by the rise of biology as the driving force of scientific progress, a strongly grown mainstream attention given to genetic engineering in the wake of the Human Genome Project (1990-2003), the changing sociological view of a liquid modern society, and shifting discourses on the posthuman, including a critical posthumanism that decenters the privileged subject of humanism. The book argues that this historical nexus produces a specific cultural formation in the form of "biopunk", a subgenre evolved from the cyberpunk of the 1980s. The analysis deals with dystopian science fiction artifacts of different media from the year 2000 onwards that project a posthuman intervention into contemporary socio-political discourse based in liquid modernity in the cultural formation of biopunk. Biopunk makes use of current posthumanist conceptions in order to criticize contemporary reality as already dystopian, warning that a future will only get worse, and that society needs to reverse its path, or else destroy all life on this planet. As Rosi Braidotti argues, "there is a posthuman agreement that contemporary science and biotechnologies affect the very fibre and structure of the living and have altered dramatically our understanding of what counts as the basic frame of reference for the human today". The proposed book analyzes this alteration as directors, creators, authors, and artists from the field of science fiction extrapolate it from current trends.



Death of the Posthuman

Death of the Posthuman Author Claire Colebrook
ISBN-10 1785420119
Release 2015-05-01
Pages 246
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Death of the PostHuman undertakes a series of critical encounters with the legacy of what had come to be known as 'theory, ' and its contemporary supposedly post-human aftermath. There can be no redemptive post-human future in which the myopia and anthropocentrism of the species finds an exit and manages to emerge with ecology and life. At the same time, what has come to be known as the human - despite its normative intensity - can provide neither foundation nor critical lever in the Anthropocene epoch. Death of the PostHuman argues for a twenty-first century deconstruction of ecological and seemingly post-human futures



Exits to the Posthuman Future

Exits to the Posthuman Future Author Arthur Kroker
ISBN-10 9780745682235
Release 2014-03-12
Pages 224
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Exits to the Posthuman Future is media theory for a global digital society which thrives, and sometimes perishes, at the intersection of technologies of speed, distant ethics and a pervasive cultural anxiety. Arthur Kroker’s incisive and insightful text presents the emerging pattern of a posthuman future: life at the tip of technologies of acceleration, drift and crash. Kroker links key concepts such as “Guardian Liberalism” and Obama’s vision of the “Just War” with a striking account of “culture drift” as the essence of real world technoculture. He argues that contemporary society displays growing uncertainty about the ultimate ends of technological innovation and the intelligibility of the digital future. The posthuman future is elusive: is it a gathering storm of cynical abandonment, inertia, disappearance and substitution? Or else the development of a new form of critical consciousness - the posthuman imagination - as a means of comprehending the full complexity of life? Depending on which exit to the posthuman future we choose or, perhaps, which exit chooses us, Kroker argues that a very different posthuman future will likely ensue.



Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities

Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities Author Elizabeth DeLoughrey
ISBN-10 9781317574309
Release 2015-04-10
Pages 410
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This book examines current trends in scholarly thinking about the new field of the Environmental Humanities, focusing in particular on how the history of globalization and imperialism represents a special challenge to the representation of environmental issues. Essays in this path-breaking collection examine the role that narrative, visual, and aesthetic forms can play in drawing attention to and shaping our ideas about long-term and catastrophic environmental challenges such as climate change, militarism, deforestation, the pollution and management of the global commons, petrocapitalism, and the commodification of nature. The volume presents a postcolonial approach to the environmental humanities, especially in conjunction with current thinking in areas such as political ecology and environmental justice. Spanning regions such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Australasia and the Pacific, as well as North America, the volume includes essays by founding figures in the field as well as new scholars, providing vital new interdisciplinary perspectives on: the politics of the earth; disaster, vulnerability, and resilience; political ecologies and environmental justice; world ecologies; and the Anthropocene. In engaging critical ecologies, the volume poses a postcolonial environmental humanities for the twenty-first century. At the heart of this is a conviction that a thoroughly global, postcolonial, and comparative approach is essential to defining the emergent field of the environmental humanities, and that this field has much to offer in understanding critical issues surrounding the creation of alternative ecological futures.



The Transhumanist Reader

The Transhumanist Reader Author Max More
ISBN-10 9781118555996
Release 2013-03-05
Pages 480
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The first authoritative and comprehensive survey of the origins and current state of transhumanist thinking The rapid pace of emerging technologies is playing an increasingly important role in overcoming fundamental human limitations. Featuring core writings by seminal thinkers in the speculative possibilities of the posthuman condition, essays address key philosophical arguments for and against human enhancement, explore the inevitability of life extension, and consider possible solutions to the growing issues of social and ethical implications and concerns. Edited by the internationally acclaimed founders of the philosophy and social movement of transhumanism, The Transhumanist Reader is an indispensable guide to our current state of knowledge of the quest to expand the frontiers of human nature.



Alien Chic

Alien Chic Author Neil Badmington
ISBN-10 0415310237
Release 2004
Pages 203
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Alien Chic provides a cultural history of the alien since the 1950s, asking ourselves why our attitudes to aliens have shifted from fear to affection, and what this can tell us about how we now see ourselves and others. Neil Badmington explores our relationship with aliens, inscribed in films such as The War of the Worlds, Mars Attacks!, Mission to Mars and Independence Day; and how thinkers such as Descartes, Barthes, Freud, Lyotard and Derrida have conceptualised what it means to be human (and post-human). Alien Chic examines the the concept of posthumanism in an age when the lines between what is human and what is non-human are increasingly blurred by advances in science and technology, for example genetic cloning and engineering, and the development of AI and cyborgs. Questioning whether our current embracing of all things 'alien' - in the form of extraterrestrial gadgets or abduction narratives, for instance - stems from a desire to reaffirm ourselves as 'human', this is an original and thought-provoking contribution to the study of posthumanism.



Creaturely Cosmologies

Creaturely Cosmologies Author Brianne Donaldson
ISBN-10 9781498501804
Release 2015-05-05
Pages 192
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Metaphysics—or the grand narratives about reality that shape a community—has historically been identified as one of the primary oppressive factors in violence against animals, the environment, and other subordinated populations. Yet, this rejection of metaphysics has allowed inadequate worldviews to be smuggled back into secular rights-based systems, and into politics, language, arts, economics, media, and science under the guise of value-free and narrowly human-centric facts that relegate many populations to the margins and exclude them from consideration as active members of the planetary community. Those concerned with systemic violence against creatures and other oppressed populations must overcome this allergy to metaphysics in order to illuminate latent assumptions at work in their own worldviews, and to seek out dynamic, many-sided, and relational narratives about reality that are more adequate to a universe of responsive and creative world-shaping creatures. This text examines two such worldviews—Whitehead’s process-relational thought in the west and the nonviolent Indian tradition of Jainism—alongside theorists such as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, that offer a new perspective on metaphysics as well as the creaturely kin and planetary fellows with whom we co-shape our future.



Aurora

Aurora Author Kim Stanley Robinson
ISBN-10 9780748126460
Release 2015-07-09
Pages 480
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Our voyage from Earth began generations ago. Now, we approach our destination. A new home. Aurora. Brilliantly imagined and beautifully told, Aurora is the work of a writer at the height of his powers.