In Part one, Section 1, the explaining the passage section of the final, I think it could be useful for us to respond to a passage from Bynum’s chapter. In this chapter, Bynum explains and dissects the many different wolf-human and metamorphosis stories that have existed throughout history. She displays the many differences between Ovid’s Lycaon and Marie’s Bisclavret towards the middle of the chapter. I found the following passage very thought-provoking and I think it lends itself very well to this section of the final.
“Whereas Ovid’s wolf carries traces of a former self on his skin, there is in Marie a suggestion of over and under, inner and outer, of a person under the shaggy wolf…” (Bynum 172).
(*In my opinion, there is a possibility that one might want to include the sentence that follows the above passage, simply for clarification, but I did not choose to include it here.)
This week’s creative presentations presented a lot of really interesting topics regarding the post human. Ashley’s presentation on Tuesday brought up some thought provoking concepts about the idea of prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. I was one If the main opponents tothe argument of the post human still being considered human. However, one of the people being interviewed in the video made a point about an improvement of the human is still human. Therefore, a handicapped person’s wheelchair would be considered humanbecause it is simply an extension of the person. This really changed my viewing of where the human nonhuman line should be drawn. Technology that is used to enhance the human can still be considered human even though its still mechanized technology. I always was quick to write off human enhancing technology as post human concepts but I was intrigued by the idethat mumaybe nonhuman technology could still be human. It makes sense to me that technology used to aid human brings in completing basic human actions would definiteł still be considered human. In that same way, prosthetic limbs would still be also be considered human. Though that is more commonly accepted in today’s society. It occurred to me that if these prosthetic limbs can so obviously be categirized as human, why shouldn’t a wheelchair be the same way? Ashley’s presentation and video made these now obvious observations more relevant to me.
In my paper, I will explore the argument that an embodied consciousness, in conjunction with generally agreed upon characteristics; a sense of spirituality and the expression of emotion and the appreciation of art, is what makes an entity human. I am also interested in examining the narratives surrounding these concepts, that is, the way the narratives and discourse strengthen or hinder this argument. Continue reading
In this week’s creative presentations, there seemed to be a few presentations that dealt with the posthuman in ways that I had not considered. For me, I had always viewed the posthuman as a robotic man-cyborg blend that took full advantage of the technologies of today and possible technologies of the future. Continue reading
As I was researching for my annotated bibliography, I made some interesting connections between the concepts of posthumanism and literature. I thought my findings to be very thought provoking in that usually the arguments about the posthuman seem like foreign ideas. Writers like Hayles and Graham seem to be writing to us from a distant place and describing the posthuman in very complex terminology. As I observed and discovered some very interesting stories that contained posthuman themes, this made the whole concept much more real to me. I realized that our imaginative texts made the concept of posthumanism much more relatable to me because I could imagine these actual societies taking place in our own world today. I believe that this is what lead me down the path that I will be taking for my extended critical analysis. I want future posthumanist readers and students to be able to understand the scope of the posthuman and not simply have to decode critical texts. As I continue on in my research for my extended critical analysis, I am going to consider the many imaginative texts that we read as a class. I will also be on the look out for more literary sources containing themes and elements of the posthuman and a posthuman society.
As we have been moving away from the current view of the posthuman and move into the medieval view of the human, I have been intrigued about the possibilities about the blend between human and animal.
As we discussed the uncertainties that Hayles grappled with when discussing the posthuman, I felt myself experiencing these same uncertainties. I found it difficult to grasp the concept of the posthuman in a neat and tidy way. I agreed with Hayles that there are two sides to the viewing of this concept and I feel ambivalent to it as well.
Our discussion in class on Thursday sparked an interesting debate regarding “intelligence.” As a species we view intelligence as something that separates us from the animals, as humans. The ability to think and process information in an intelligent manner is what makes us humans. Often times, we only consider those who are meticulous, logical, rational, and mathematically-minded to be “intelligent” in our culture. Continue reading
Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake presents many of the overarching themes that we discuss in our class. The idea of a human in the post-apocalyptic world is exhibited in the character of Snowman. This character intrigued me the most as a reader, especially his constant commentary on human life and existence once all the others are gone. There is one quote from the novel that stood out to me while I was reading and it is in regard to Snowman’s emotions. The narrator states, “these things sneak up on him for no reason, these flashes of irrational happiness. It’s probably a vitamin deficiency” (Atwood41). Continue reading
Toward the end of class today, there was an interesting discussion about the point in the novel that I found to be the most intriguing. In Winterson’s novel Stone Gods, much like all of our other texts thus far in this class, the concept of what makes one “human” seems to be interwoven throughout. Specifically, there is one short excerpt of the novel, which was discussed in class, which focuses directly on this concept. Continue reading