BACKspace: Historical/Theoretical Intersections
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The twenty-first-century “Y2K” millennial turn provoked significant anxieties about global dependencies on technologized systems, signaling changing questions about the place of the human in contemporary culture. A desire to rethink both humanness and bodies springs up in provocative theoretical investigations such as Donna Haraway’s “cyborg,” Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s “becoming-animal,” Katherine Hayles’s “post-human,” and Rosi Braidotti’s “figurations” to name but a few; arguments for alternate subjectivities — nomadic, non-unitary, hybrid, cyborgean — permeate a theoretical technological landscape reflecting a need for radical rethinking about human positioning in the world. A proliferation of the prefix “post-” now dots theoretical landscapes as a move beyond, or away from what it modifies, but in the new millennium, “posts” reflecting technological anxiety also seek a return towards notions of embodiment. Two publications in 1999, for example, use “post” to signify changing human-technological relations that underpin some of the theoretical and theatrical concerns of this book, Katherine Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman, and Hans-Thies Lehmann’s Postdramatic Theatre (although the latter was not translated into English until 2006). In the use of the prefix “post-” each author identifies already shifting understandings of the root — human or dramatic — perhaps prompted by the “post-” in that slipperiest of terms, “postmodernism.”
KeywordsDouble Helix Science Fiction Osmotic Pump Object Body Subject Technology
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