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Posthumanism in Young Adult FictionFinding Humanity in a Posthuman World$
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Anita Tarr and Donna R. White

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496816696

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496816696.001.0001

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Posthuman Potential and Ecological Limit in Future Worlds

Posthuman Potential and Ecological Limit in Future Worlds

Chapter:
(p.179) 9 Posthuman Potential and Ecological Limit in Future Worlds
Source:
Posthumanism in Young Adult Fiction
Author(s):

Phoebe Chen

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496816696.003.0009

Phoebe Chen analyzes three representative YA dystopic novels in which characters face ecological disaster and finds them lacking, inadequate to address posthumanist possibilities. Ecological posthumanism stresses connections—between self and Other, human and environment, present and past—erasing borders that constitute liberal humanism. Earth Girl, Of Beast and Beauty, and Orleans all feature female protagonists living in ruined eco-systems whose subjectivities are massively influenced by their environments. Jarra, as an archaeologist on Earth, heals through recovery of the past; Isra reclaims the human traits of compassion and sacrifice to embrace the Other; and Fen survives (for a while) in the flooded streets of Orleans by embedding herself into the environment, thus losing her posthuman dignity. Chen describes such novels as being an “imaginative platform” for speculating about being human in ruined environments, a likelihood we all will face.

Keywords:   Genetic determinism, Biopolitics, Eco-fiction, Dystopias, Ecological posthumanism

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