Literature and Posthumanism
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This article examines some current developments in the field of relations between literary studies and posthumanism, with particular reference to changing forms and conceptions of the literary. As an index of these changes, it begins by surveying the changing position of literature in the work of N. Katherine Hayles, as this has been shaped by the successive concepts of embodiment, materiality and intermediation. Hayles’ work exemplifies current debates about the rise of digital or computational literature and its challenge to interlinked conceptions of print culture and humanistic subjectivity. Placing these debates in the context of critical posthumanism, with an emphasis on anti-Cartesian critique, cyborg theory, distributed cognition and the recent work of Donna J. Haraway on companion species, the article highlights a continuing critical dialogue around questions of literary and humanistic value vis-à-vis print and digital forms, and ends with speculations upon two areas of potential development in the field of literature and posthumanism.
Wallace, J. (2010), Literature and Posthumanism. Literature Compass, 7: 692–701