The Obsolescence of the Human
  • Bill Brown


“How boring to be human.” The sentiment seems to have provoked a sustained, highly publicized mass-cultural fixation on the more and the less than human. On zombies, for instance, as exemplified by the latest over-the-top zombie apocalypse film, World War Z (2003), starring Brad Pitt.1 On aliens, most adroitly deployed by Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp in District 9 (2009).2 On vampires and werewolves, most famously dramatized by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight romances, the first of which appeared in 2005. Bella Swan falls in love with the vampire Edward and befriends the werewolf Jake Black, who himself suffers the unreciprocated hots for Bella. (Edward, like all Meyer vampires, sparkles in the sun. If nothing else makes you envious, this should.) The books have been translated into almost forty languages, and they have been transposed, famously, into an equally popular series of films, The Twilight Saga, a total of five movies across four years, 2008–2012. Twilight is a publishing and Hollywood phenomenon not seen since … well, not since J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the first novel published in 1997, the last film screened in 2011, a series where mere humans endure the fate of being diminished to “muggles.”


Object World Inanimate Object Political Ecology Object Ecology Real Estate Broker 
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© Babette B. Tischleder and Sarah Wasserman 2015

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  • Bill Brown

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