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(1) Humanities and the Illness Experience (literature, film, the creative arts, poetry, narrative medicine) are intended to elevate student appreciation of the subjective experience of illness in the lives of patients, their families, and caregivers. Only by closely observing the illness experience can students begin to connect with patients as persons, replete with narratives of hope, anxiety, fear, love, loss, meaning, goals, culture, and treatment preferences. Student attentiveness to this narrative opens up the possibility of their encountering patients not just biologically, but as persons rather than mere puzzles. This awareness is at the very center of the art of medicine, of healing in any full sense of the word, and it naturally enlivens deeper empathic capacities.

(2) Virtues ( empathy, compassion, respect, humility, justice, loyalty, benevolence, diligence) all unfold from the uptick in narrative consciousness made possible through detailed humanistic observation. For empathic care to be sustained over the course of a career the professional virtue of self-care is also important. The humanistic virtues build the secure relational foundation of trust that is needed for good communication with patients, and for effective ethical decision making.

(3) Clinical Ethics ( attentive listening, , respect for autonomy, empathic communication, confidentiality, patient advocacy ) is more than the application of a set of principles or procedures for approaching the challenging decisions that patients, families, and caregivers confront daily. Clinical ethics requires a close attentiveness to the humanistic as well the scientific details of each case, a skill that can be finely honed through the medical humanities. Empathic virtues as habits of daily clinical interaction create a safe space for meaningful dialogue with patients around their values, goals, and choices in which their autonomy is respected. These humanistic assets can be developed as workable communicative skill sets with both cognitive and affective dimensions. Clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and provider meaning and well-being are all enhanced when ethical decision making proceeds in the context of the humanistic virtues.

Our three concentric circles exist in a surrounding field of healthcare systems including the healthcare system and finance, health law and policy, justice and access to care, the science of compassionate care and posthumanism. Compassionate care drives clinicians and students toward concern for justice according to patient need. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote famously of the love that does justice. Often patients are as stressed by navigating insurance and the healthcare system as they are by their illness itself. Clinicians committed to the good of patients are driven by compassion to advocate for access to needed medications and other necessary treatments, as well as ultimately to matters of population health.

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What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

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Beyond humanism and anthropocentrism

Can a new kind of humanitiesposthumanitiesrespond to the redefinition of humanity's place in the world by both the technological and the biological or "green" continuum in which the "human" is but one life form among many? Exploring this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfe ranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world.

What Is Posthumanism? is an original, thoroughly argued, fundamental redefinition and refocusing of posthumanism. Firmly distinguishing posthumanism from discourses of the posthuman or transhumanism, this book will be at the center of discussion for a long time to come.

Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

What does it mean to think beyond humanism? Is it possible to craft a mode of philosophy, ethics, and interpretation that rejects the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body, society and nature, human and animal, organic and technological? Can a new kind of humanitiesposthumanitiesrespond to the redefinition of humanitys place in the world by both the technological and the biological or green continuum in which the human is but one life form among many?

Exploring how both critical thought along with cultural practice have reacted to this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfeone of the founding figures in the field of animal studies and posthumanist theoryranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world. Then, in performing posthumanist readings of such diverse works as Temple Grandins writings, Wallace Stevenss poetry, Lars von Triers Dancer in the Dark, the architecture of Diller+Scofidio, and David Byrne and Brian Enos My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, he shows how this philosophical sensibility can transform art and culture.

For Wolfe, a vibrant, rigorous posthumanism is vital for addressing questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems and their inclusions and exclusions, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. In What Is Posthumanism? he carefully distinguishes posthumanism from transhumanism (the biotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. In doing so, Wolfe reveals that it is humanism, not the human in all its embodied and prosthetic complexity, that is left behind in posthumanist thought.

Cary Wolfe holds the Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Chair in English at Rice University. His previous books include Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside, Observing Complexity: Systems Theory and Postmodernity, and Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal, all published by the University of Minnesota Press.

What Is Posthumanism? is an original, thoroughly argued, fundamental redefinition and refocusing of posthumanism. Firmly distinguishing posthumanism from discourses of the posthuman or transhumanism, this book will be at the center of discussion for a long time to come.

Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet

Wolfe offers a smart, provocative account of posthumanism as an idea and as a way of thinking that has consequences extending from the way universities are organized to decisions regarding public policy bioethics. Although his writing is complex and demanding, the ethical and ecological urgency with which he frames his readings combines with the wide, diversified scope of his scholarship to make this a work to be reckoned with.

Wolfes book, without a doubt, supplies important insights.

Wolfe has created an incredibly useful primer on posthumanist theory. For anyone attempting to engage in academic work relating to these theories, this book is a highly recommended starting point.

Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley

It is one of those books that sucks you in almost immediately.

ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

Readers . . . will find Wolfes analysis of both visual and audio culture to be thought-provoking.

Science Fiction Film and Television

It is a profound, thoroughly researched study with far-reaching consequences for public policy, bioethics, education, and the arts.

Science, Culture, Integrated Yoga

What Is Posthumanism? is an intelligent, extensively argued and challenging work.

Wolfes work shifts the tired terms of the debate in new and needed directions, offering strength and strategies to all those for whom simplistic, technophilic accounts of the posthuman condition are a smooth road to nowhere different.

Electronic Book Review

Tremendous intellectual, scholarly, and artistic breadth.

As a blueprint for where a posthumanist approach could take cultural theory, his book is conceptually invaluable.

Wolfes posthumanism is brilliant in the way it allows us to realize that each of these species might have different forms of perception, different ways of being in the world, and that those differences are actually analogous with otherness among human beings.

Wolfe deserves credit for a rich set of discussions that, taken together, bring out the interest of the intellectual trend that he calls posthumanism.

UMP blog: Discovering the HUMAN

3/24/2010Part of the unfortunate fallout of the conceptual apparatus of humanism is that it gives us an overly simple picturea fantasy, reallyof what the human is. Consider, for example, the rise of what is often called transhumanism, often taken to be a defining discourse of posthumanism (as in Ray Kurzweils work on the singularitythe historical moment at which engineering developments such as nanotechnology enable us to transcend our physical and biological limitations as embodied beings, ushering in a new phase of evolution). As many of its proponents freely admit, the philosophical ideals of transhumanism are quite identifiably humanistnot only in their dream of transcending the life of the body and our animal origins but also in their investment in the ideals of human perfectibility, rationality, autonomy, and agency. Read more ...

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What Is Posthumanism? University of Minnesota Press

What is Posthumanism? The Curator

Perhaps you have had a nightmare in which you fell through the bottom of your known universe into a vortex of mutated children, talking animals, mental illness, freakish art, and clamoring gibberish. There, you were subjected to the gaze of creatures of indeterminate nature and questionable intelligence. Your position as the subject of your own dream was called into question while voices outside your sight commented upon your tenuous identity. When you woke, you were relieved to find that it was only a dream-version of the book you were reading when you fell asleep. Maybe that book was Alice in Wonderland; maybe it was What is Posthumanism?

Now, it is not quite fair to compare Cary Wolfes sober, thoughtful scholarship with either a nightmare or a work of (childrens?) fantasy. It is a profound, thoroughly researched study with far-reaching consequences for public policy, bioethics, education, and the arts. However, it does present a rather odd dramatis personae, including a glow-in-the-dark rabbit, a woman who feels most at ease in a cattle chute, an artist of Jewish descent who implants an ID-chip in his own leg, researchers who count the words in a dogs vocabulary, and horses who exhibit more intelligence than the average human toddler. The settings, too, are often wildly different from those you might expect in an academic work: a manufactured cloud hovering over a lake in Switzerland, a tree park in Canada where landscape and architecture blend and redefine one another, recording studios, photographic laboratories, slaughterhouses, and (most of all) the putative minds of animals and the deconstructed minds of the very humans whose ontological existence it seeks to problematize.

But that is another exaggeration. Wolfes goal is not to undermine the existence or value of human beings. Rather, it is to call into question the universal ethics, assumed rationality, and species-specific self-determination of humanism. That is a mouthful.

Indeed, Wolfes book is a mouthful, and a headful. It is in fact a book by a specialist, for specialists. While Wolfe is an English professor (at Rice University) and identifies himself with literary and cultural studies (p. 100), this is first of all a work of philosophy. Its ideal audience is very small, consisting of English and Philosophy professors who came of age in the 70s, earned their Ph.D.s during the hey-day of Derridean Deconstruction, and have spent the intervening decades keeping up with trends in systems theory, cultural studies, science, bioethics, and information technology. It is rigorous and demanding, especially in its first five chapters, which lay the conceptual groundwork for the specific analyses of the second section.

In these first five chapters, Wolfe describes his perspective and purpose by interaction with many other great minds and influential texts, primarily those of Jacques Derrida. Here, the fundamental meaning and purpose of Posthumanism becomes clear. Wolfe wants his readers to rethink their relationship to animals (what he calls nonhuman animals). His goal is a new and more inclusive form of ethical pluralism (137). That sound innocuous enough, but he is not talking about racial, religious, or other human pluralisms. He is postulating a pluralism that transcends species. In other words, he is promoting the ethical treatment of animals based on a fundamental re-evaluation of what it means to be human, to be able to speak, and even to think. He does this by discussing studies that reveal the language capacities of animals (a dog apparently has about a 200-word vocabulary and can learn new words as quickly as a human three-year-old; pp. 32-33), by recounting the story of a woman whose Aspergers syndrome enables her to empathize with cows and sense the world the way they do (chapter five), and by pointing out the ways in which we value disabled people who do not possess the standard traits that (supposedly) make us human.

But Wolfe goes further than a simple suggestion that we should be nice to animals (and the unspoken plug for universal veganism). He is proposing a radical disruption of liberal humanism and a rigorous interrogation of what he sees as an arrogant complacency about our species. He respects any variety of philosophy that challenges anthropocentrism and speciesism (62)anthropocentrism, of course, means viewing the world as if homo sapiens is the center (or, more accurately, viewing the world from the position of occupying that center) and specisism is the term he uses to replace racism. We used to feel and enact prejudice against people of different ethnic backgrounds, he suggests, but we now know that is morally wrong. The time has come, then, to realize that we are feeling and enacting prejudice against people of different species.

Although Wolfe suggests many epistemological and empirical reasons for rethinking the personhood of animals, he comes to the conclusion that our relationship with them is based on our shared embodiment. Humans and animals have a shared finitude (139); we can both feel pain, suffer, and die. On the basis of our mutual mortality, then, we should have an emphasis on compassion (77). He is not out to denigrate his own species far from it. Indeed, he goes out of his way to spend time discussing infants (who have not yet developed rationality and language), people with disabilities (especially those that prevent them from participating in fully rational thought and/or communication), and the elderly (who may lose some of those rational capacities, especially if racked by such ailments as Alzheimers). Indeed, he claims: It is not by denying the special status of human being[s] but by intensifying it that we can come to think of nonhuman animalsasfellow creatures (77).

This joint focus on the special status of all human beings along with the other living creatures roaming (or swimming, flying, crawling, slithering) the globe has far-reaching consequences for public policy, especially bioethics. Wolfe says that, currently, bioethics is riddled with prejudices: Of these prejudices, none is more symptomatic of the current state of bioethics than prejudice based on species difference, and an incapacity to address the ethical issues raised by dramatic changes over the past thirty years in our knowledge about the lives, communication, emotions, and consciousnesses of a number of nonhuman species (56). One of the goals of his book, then, is to reiterate that knowledge and promote awareness of those issues that he sees as ethical.

If you read Wolfes book, or even parts of it, you will suddenly see posthumanism everywhere. You can trace its influence in the enormously fast-growing pet industry. From the blog Pawsible Marketing: As in recent and past years, there is no doubt that pets continue to become more and more a part of the family, even to the extent of becoming, in some cases, humanized.

You will see it in bring-your-pet-to-work or bring-your-pet-to-school days. You might think it is responsible for the recent introduction of a piece of legislation called H.R. 3501, The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years, know as the HAPPY Act, which proposes a tax deduction for pet owners. You will find it in childrens books about talking animals. You will see it on Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel, and a PBS series entitled Inside the Animal Mind. You will find it in films, such as the brand-new documentary The Cove, which records the brutal slaughter of dolphins for food. And you will see it in works of art.

Following this reasoning, section two of Wolfes book (chapters six through eleven) veers off from the strictly philosophical approach into the more traditional terrain of cultural studies: he examines specific works of art in light of the philosophical basis that is now firmly in place. Interestingly, he does not choose all works of art that depict animals, nor those that displace humans. He begins with works that depict animals (Sue Coes paintings of slaughterhouses) and that use animals (Eduardo Kacs creation of genetically engineered animals that glow in the dark), but then moves on to discuss film, architecture, poetry, and music. In each of these examinations, he works to destabilize traditional binaries such as nature/culture, landscape/architecture, viewer/viewed, presence/absence, organic/inorganic, natural/artificial, and, really, human/nonhuman. This second section, then, is a subtle application of the theory of posthumanism itself to the arts, [our] environment, and [our] identity.

What is perhaps most important about What is Posthumanism remains latent in the text. This is its current and (especially) future prevalence. By tracing the history of posthumanism back through systems theory into deconstruction, Wolfe implies a future trajectory, too. I would venture to suggest that he believes posthumanism is the worldview that will soon come to dominate Western thought. And this is important for academics specifically and thinkers in general to realize.

Whether you agree with Cary Wolfe or not, it would be wise to understand posthumanism. It appears that your only choice will be either to align yourself with this perspective or to fight against it. If you agree, you should know with what. If you fight, you should know against what.

What, then, is the central thesis of posthumanism? Wolfes entire project might be summed up in his bold claim that, thanks to his own work and that of the theorists and artists he discusses, the human occupies a new place in the universe, a universe now populated by what I am prepared to call nonhuman subjects (47)such subjects as talking rabbits, six-inch people, and mythical monsters?

Well, maybe not the mythical monsters.

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What is Posthumanism? The Curator

Posthumanism by Pramod K. Nayar – Goodreads

This timely book examines the rise of posthumanism as both a material condition and a developing philosophical-ethical project in the age of cloning, gene engineering, organ transplants and implants.

Nayar first maps the political and philosophical critiques of traditional humanism, revealing its exclusionary and 'speciesist' politics that position the human as a distinct

Nayar first maps the political and philosophical critiques of traditional humanism, revealing its exclusionary and 'speciesist' politics that position the human as a distinctive and dominant life form. He then contextualizes the posthumanist vision which, drawing upon biomedical, engineering and techno-scientific studies, concludes that human consciousness is shaped by its co-evolution with other life forms, and our human form inescapably influenced by tools and technology. Finally the book explores posthumanism's roots in disability studies, animal studies and bioethics to underscore the constructed nature of 'normalcy' in bodies, and the singularity of species and life itself.

As this book powerfully demonstrates, posthumanism marks a radical reassessment of the human as constituted by symbiosis, assimilation, difference and dependence upon and with other species. Mapping the terrain of these far-reaching debates, Posthumanism will be an invaluable companion to students of cultural studies and modern and contemporary literature.

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Posthumanism by Pramod K. Nayar - Goodreads

New Materialism(s) Critical Posthumanism Network

Digital Bodies by Megan Archer

New materialism is a term coined in the 1990s to describe a theoretical turn away from the persistent dualisms in modern and humanist traditions whose influences are present in much of cultural theory.[1] The discourses catalogued under new materialism(s) share an agenda with posthumanism in that they seek a repositioning of the human among nonhuman actants, they question the stability of an individuated, liberal subject, and they advocate a critical materialist attention to the global, distributed influences of late capitalism and climate change. The turn to matter as a necessary critical engagement comes from a collective discontent with the linguistic turn and social constructionism to adequately address material realities for humans and nonhumans alike. While new materialists recognise social constructionisms insistence on political relationalities of power and the effect of these dynamics on subject formation, some nevertheless maintain that the idea of discursive construction perpetuates Western, liberal subjectivities and holds on to stubborn humanist binaries. The new materialist turn might indeed be considered a return to matter in the context of historical materialisms concern for embodied circumstance and subject formation. However, as Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman point out in their anthology, Material Feminisms, material theorists do not simply abandon the work of the linguistic turn, but rather build on its foundation, underscoring the co-constitution of material and discursive productions of reality.[2] Feminist new materialisms, for instance, do not discount social constructions of gender and their intersections with class and race. They do, however, also consider how material bodies, spaces, and conditions contribute to the formation of subjectivity.

Theory marked as new materialism collectively works against inert, extra-discursive, and non-generative conceptions of matter, but the plurality of methodological approaches within the field is generous. With thinkers like Karen Barad, Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz, and Jane Bennett as several of the fields leading scholars, the new materialisms draw on combinations of feminist theory, science studies, environmental studies, queer theory, philosophy, cultural theory, biopolitics, critical race theory, and other approaches.

When the field was nascent, Judith Butlers seminal feminist work on sex and gender was a foundational influence on early new materialist conversations. Butlers argument against a biologically material referent of gender completely erased the nature/culture divide between sex and gender.[3] Feminist science and new materialist reactions to this kind of radical constructivism emphasised that physical bodies moving through the world, and the differences in those bodies, also inform experience. Feminist theorists began to emphasise the material of the body, considering differences among bodies, and to think through the intersections of material and social constructions. Therefore, a discursive analysis of gender required a non-essentialising approach to the matter of the body, itself. Scholars responding to and synthesising the nature/culture question included Elizabeth Wilson, Rosi Braidotti, and Anne Fausto-Sterling.[4] Fausto-Sterlings Sexing the Body takes on the literal co-construction of bodies and social environments, arguing that bodily differences are evident beneath the flesh as human cells react to the signals of their environments.[5] Identity and difference are therefore products of complex interactions between matters inside and outside of bodies, and between the social and environmental conditions in which bodies exist.

The variety of new materialist approaches continues to proliferate as the field develops, but Diana Coole and Samantha Frost suggest grouping the major trends in new materialist scholarship into three identifiable camps in their 2010 edited collection, New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics.[6] The essays are organised into the categories Ontology/Agency, Bioethics/Biopolitics, and Critical Materialism. Feminist new materialists Rosi Braidotti and Karen Barad would both fit into Coole and Frosts Ontology/Agency category, since both theorists examine how matter is agential in its emergence. Braidotti draws on and productively revises ideas from her background in post-structuralist theory. Rather than Giorgio Agambens bare life (zoe), her re-reading of Spinoza and Deleuze and Guattari leads her to formulate a zoe that is the potentiality of all matter to form transversal connections or networks with all other matter.[7] In Homo Sacer (1995), Agamben argues that the Western biopolitical distinction between political and nonpolitical life (what he calls bios and zoe, respectively) can be traced to antiquity. It is the connection of sovereign power to biopower that distinguishes for Agamben a crucial cut between beings with no legal status, humans included, and beings with the privilege of legal rights.[8] Braidotti revises critical vitalism and biopolitics alike to argue that posthuman subjectivity is a zoe with an immanent potential for self-assembly along transversals, or the tendency of all living matter to form associations with other material systems. Posthuman subjectivity therefore raises important ethical questions, since it is neither bound to the individual subject, nor singularly human.

Just as Braidottis neo-vitalist theory of matter requires that we revise our existing ethical framework, Karen Barads agential realism suggests that the physical laws underpinning the reality we experience are, themselves, an ethical matter. Barads theoretical upending of the object/subject divide, or that all entities literally do not precede their intra-actions, comes from her robust background in theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory. Conditions for Barad are always already material-discursive; that is, discourse and matter come into being together, and the apparatus that delimits being is only a condition of possibility. Barad contests a human-centred concept of agency. She instead argues that intra-actions entail the complex co-productions of human and nonhuman matter, time, spaces, and their signification. Therefore, the human does not act on matter, but rather humans and nonhumans are agential actors in the world as it continuously comes into being.[9]

Though the Ontology/Agency grouping of new materialist theory makes meaningful political and ethical interventions, Coole and Frost argue that it is the Bioethics/Biopolitics category that centres on more specific questions of nonhuman social justice and geopolitical sovereign control. Elizabeth Grosz, for example, re-reads Charles Darwin to discuss the biological processes that prepare bodies for social and cultural inscription based on difference.[10]

Lastly, Critical Materialism both emerges from a tradition of Marxist historical materialism and responds to the constructivism and deconstructionist criticism of classical Marxist approaches. The new critical materialism engages the effects of global capitalism in an era of climate crisis and rejects the view that discursive rewriting of subjectivity can radically disrupt the material conditions facing the globalized subject under neoliberal capital. Jason Edwards argues that we will need to remember the materialism of historical materialism in the requisite sense if we are to understand how these problems are the systemic product of the reproduction of modern capitalist societies and the international system of states.[11] Jason Moores Capitalism in the Web of Life has also contributed to recent critical materialist approaches by re-examining capitalism as a global ecological force, extracting surplus value from nature.[12] The critical materialist approach is thus not a revitalisation of classical Marxism, but rather a rereading of its critique of capital in an era of global complexity.

Regardless of discipline, all new materialisms embrace the vitality of matter, particularly as it encompasses the nonhuman as well as the human. Rejection of anthropocentrism aligns new materialisms with posthumanism, but also with speculative realism, a branch of philosophy that in recent years has posited whether questions of vitality, agency, and generative capability are appropriate for human and nonhuman matter alike. Although speculative realism and new materialisms align in their arguments for the dissolution of a human centre, they philosophically diverge in their positions on how we can understand a true ontology, and on matters agential and vital capabilities. The approaches of new materialisms extend the capacities of agential and vital qualities to the nonhuman and the material, while the speculative realist approach questions whether an ontology of matter can realistically consider these concepts in the first place.

While new materialists question the position of human-centred ontology, they often do so with the biopolitical bent of also questioning power structures that mark material bodies as subjects of power. In this way they continue to engage with the projects and political concerns of post-structuralism while extending the reach of these discourses into matters beyond the human and into material conditions beyond the linguistically constructed. Somewhat differently, object-oriented ontology is a speculative realist approach which considers the thing at centre, arguing that no entity has privileged ontological status over another, but rather that all things exist equally. Ian Bogosts Alien Phenomenology argues for thing-centred being, cautioning that positioning our centre around human concern precludes all things perception of the world.[13] Bogost and other object-oriented ontologists encourage us to consider perceiving objects as things, rather than filtering our perception of things through human experience.

Jane Bennett, one of the new materialisms leading thinkers, argues that nonhuman (and particularly nonbiological) matter is imbued with a liveliness that can exhibit distributed agency by forming assemblages of human and nonhuman actors. Bennetts 2010 book Vibrant Matter argues that agency is only distributed and is never the effect of intentionality. Bennetts thing-power exemplifies the ability of objects to manifest a lively kind of agency. She explains in her preface: Thing-power gestures toward the strange ability of ordinary, man-made items to exceed their status as objects and to manifest traces of independence of aliveness, constituting the outside of our own experience.[14] Vibrant Matter also brings to the foreground an extant but more latent history of vibrant or lively matter in Western philosophy. Bennett builds on the ideas of early twentieth-century critical vitalists, as well as the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari, to bring together materiality, affect, and vitalism.

New materialist transgressions of humanist subject/object dualism, ideas of distributed agency, and reconsiderations of traditional notions of life and death are not universally convincing, of course. Slavoj ieks 2014 book, Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism, offers a critique of this new theoretical turn, arguing that in their attempt to dismantle traditional modern thinking, new materialisms re-inscribe humanist values by merely extending agency, vitality, and social phenomena to nonhuman material.[15] Nevertheless, the variety of interdisciplinary methodologies that form the new materialisms allow them to approach similar ontological questions in different ways, a move which seems promising for a theory placing a high value on increasing contact between disciplines in institutional knowledge production, and the entanglement of matter and ideological constructions.

University of California, Riverside, April 2018

[1] Rick Dolphijn and Iris van der Tuin, Interview with Karen Barad, in New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies, ed. By Rick Dolphijn and Iris van der Tuin (Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press, 2012), pp. 48-70 (p. 48).

[2] Material Feminisms, ed. by Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2008), pp. 1-19.

[3] Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York: Routledge, 1990).

[4] For an overview see Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman, eds. Material Feminisms (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 2008) and Manuela Rossini, To the Dogs: Companion Speciesism and the New Feminist Materialism, Kritikos 3 (Sept 2006).

[5] Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (New York: Basic Books, 2000).

[6] New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, ed. by Diana Coole and Samantha Frost (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010), pp. 1-43.

[7] Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013).

[8] Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. by Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998).

[9] Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007).

[10] Elizabeth Grosz, In the Nick of Time: Politics, Evolution, and the Untimely (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2004).

[11] Jason Edwards, The Materialism of Historical Materialism, in New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, ed. by Diana Coole and Samantha Frost (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010), pp. 281-298 (p. 282).

[12] Jason W. Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital (New York: Verso, 2015).

[13] Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology, or What Its Like to Be a Thing (Minneapolis: Minnesota Press, 2012).

[14] Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010).

[15] Slavoj iek, Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism (New York: Verso, 2014).

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New Materialism(s) Critical Posthumanism Network

What is Posthumanism? – Cary Wolfe – Google Books

What does it mean to think beyond humanism? Is it possible to craft a mode of philosophy, ethics, and interpretation that rejects the classic humanist divisions of self and other, mind and body, society and nature, human and animal, organic and technological? Can a new kind of humanities-posthumanities-respond to the redefinition of humanity's place in the world by both the technological and the biological or "green" continuum in which the "human" is but one life form among many?

Exploring how both critical thought along with cultural practice have reacted to this radical repositioning, Cary Wolfe-one of the founding figures in the field of animal studies and posthumanist theory-ranges across bioethics, cognitive science, animal ethics, gender, and disability to develop a theoretical and philosophical approach responsive to our changing understanding of ourselves and our world. Then, in performing posthumanist readings of such diverse works as Temple Grandin's writings, Wallace Stevens's poetry, Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, the architecture of Diller+Scofidio, and David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, he shows how this philosophical sensibility can transform art and culture.

For Wolfe, a vibrant, rigorous posthumanism is vital for addressing questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems and their inclusions and exclusions, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. In What Is Posthumanism? he carefully distinguishes posthumanism from transhumanism (the biotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. In doing so, Wolfe reveals that it is humanism, not the human in all its embodied and prosthetic complexity, that is left behind in posthumanist thought.

Originally posted here:

What is Posthumanism? - Cary Wolfe - Google Books

Posthumanism | Transhumanism Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. WikiProject Philosophy may be able to help recruit one. (November 2008)

In literary and critical theory, posthumanism or post-humanism, meaning beyond humanism, is a major European continental philosophy of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It strives to move beyond the ideas and images of the world of Renaissance humanism to correspond more closely to the 21st century's concepts of technoscientific knowledge.

Posthumanism mainly differentiates from classical humanism in that it restores the stature that had been made of humanity to one of many natural species. According to this claim, humans have no inherent rights to destroy nature or set themselves above it in ethical considerations a priori. Human knowledge is also reduced to a less controlling position, previously seen as the defining aspect of the world. The limitations and fallibility of human intelligence are confessed, even though it does not imply abandoning the rational tradition of humanism.[1]

Ihab Hassan, critic, scholar, and theorist in the academic study of literature, once stated that "humanism may be coming to an end as humanism transforms itself into something one must helplessly call posthumanism". This view predates the currents of posthumanism which have developed over the past twenty years in somewhat diverse, but complementary, domains of thought and practice. For example, Ihab Hassan is a scholar of literature and a known postmodernist whose theoretical writings expressly address postmodernism in society.[1]

Theorists who both complement and contrast Ihab Hassan include Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Bruno Latour, Shannon Bell, N. Katherine Hayles, Peter Sloterdijk and Douglas Kellner. Among the theorists are philosophers who have written about a "posthuman condition" (Robert Pepperell) which is often substituted for the term "posthumanism".[1][2]

Posthumanism is sometimes used as a synonym for an ideology of technology known as "transhumanism" because it affirms the possibility and desirability of achieving a "posthuman future" in purely evolutionary terms. However, posthumanists in the humanities and the arts are critical of transhumanism, in part, because they argue that it incorporates and extends many of the flaws of Enlightenment humanism, namely scientific imperialism and perfectibilism.[3]

The posthuman or post-human, in critical theory, is a speculative being that represents or seeks to enact a re-writing of what is generally conceived of as human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism, which critically questions Renaissance humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, instead understanding the world through context and heterogeneous perspectives while maintaining scientific rigor and a dedication to objective observations of the world. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can "become" or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.[4]

The posthuman, and posthumanism with it, are philosophical positions that overlap and are constantly engaged with much of postmodern philosophy, biotechnology, and evolutionary biology, so the field is constantly changing. The critical notion of the posthuman is isolated from these fields as the embodiment of critical engagement itself; that is to say that the posthuman is not necessarily human in the first place, but is rather an embodied medium through which critical consciousness is manifested.[citation needed]

Steve Nichols published the Post-Human Manifesto in 1988, and holds a contrarian view that human beings are already post-human compared to previous generations.[citation needed]

Critical discourses surrounding posthumanism are not homogeneous, but in fact present a series of often contradictory ideas, and the term itself is contested, with one of the foremost authors associated with posthumanism, Manuel DeLanda, decrying the term as "very silly."[5] Covering the ideas of, for example, Robert Pepperell's The Posthuman Condition, and N. Katherine Hayles's How We Became Posthuman under a single term is distinctly problematic due to these contradictions.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the "cyborg" of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway.[6] Haraway's conception of the cyborg is an ironic take on traditional conceptions of the cyborg that inverts the traditional trope of the cyborg whose presence questions the salient line between humans and robots. Haraway's cyborg is in many ways the "beta" version of the posthuman, as her cyborg theory prompted the issue to be taken up in critical theory.[7]

Following Haraway, N. Katherine Hayles, whose book How We Became Posthuman grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism - which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a "shell" or vehicle for the mind - becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology put the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technological advancements while understanding information as "disembodied," that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.[8]

The posthuman is a being that relies on context rather than relativity, on situated objectivity rather than universal objectivity, and on the creation of meaning through 'play' between constructions of informational pattern and reductions to the randomness of on/off switches, which are the foundation of digital binary systems.[citation needed]

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(PDF) Posthumanism – ResearchGate

Universitetsforlaget 171

misleading, if taken as its ultimate state: on a subatomic level, everything is in con-

stant vibration. As famously demonstrated by Einstein (1905), matter and energy

are equivalent. Energy is intrinsically relational, as well as matter is irreducible to a

single determined entity; any reductionist approach has scientifically failed. From a

physics perspective, anything which has mass and volume is considered matter:

humans, for instance, are made out of matter, as well as robots. Let's now go back to

our initial question: who am I? We are material networks of relations, fluctuant

becoming in symbiotic interaction with the others, the environment, our sur-

roundings; we are constant potentials. In nietzschean terms: we are a bridge

(Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 7). Human existence is related to any other form of

existence; nothing, in this dimension, is completely autonomous or totally inde-

pendent. In this sense, the field of epigenetics is significant, with its emphasis on the

heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms which are external to

the underlying DNA sequence. Posthumanism approaches the potentials opened by

biotechnology, nanotechnology, cybernetics, robotics and space migration, in an

ontological way, through Heidegger: technology is no mere means, but a way of

revealing (1953:12). We can thus talk of technologies of existence. Posthumanism

has to do with theoretical philosophy as well as with applied ethics. More extensiv-

ely, posthumanism can be perceived as a path of knowledge, which may eventually

turn into full awareness: we literally are what we eat, what we think, what we

breathe, what and who we connect to. Currently, posthumanism seems the most

open and sensitive critical frame to approach intellectual tasks, as well as daily prac-

tices of being. Since any existential performance has interconnected agency, post-

humanism will add to your perspective as much as your perspective will add to the

posthuman shift. More than an exchange (ex comes from Latin, meaning out),

it is an intra-change, a fluid entanglement of being, an expansion of material aware-

ness, a fractal movement of energy which will have simultaneously affected your

existence as well as the evolution of spacetime. This is why I think posthumanism is

something you want to know about.

references

Anzalda, Gloria 1987. Borderlands/La

Frontera: The Ne w Mestiza. San Francisco:

Aunt Lute Book s.

Barad, Karen 2007. Meeting the Universe Half-

way: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of

Matter and Meaning. Durham et al.: Duke Uni-

versity Press.

Braidotti, Rosi 1994. Nomadic Subjec ts:

Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemp-

orary Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia

Universit y Press.

Braidotti, Rosi 2013. The Posthuman. Cam-

bridge, UK et al.: Polity Press.

Butler, Judith 1999 [1990]. Gender Trouble:

Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New

Yor k et a l.: Rou tle dge.

Crenshaw, Kimberle 1989. Demarginalizing

the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black

Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doc-

trine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.

The University of Chicago Legal Forum 139

167.

Einstein, Albert. 1905. Ist die Trgheit eines

Krpers von seinem Energieinhalt abhngig?

Annalen der Physik 18 (13):639643.

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Posthumanism Theory – Technical Communication Body of …

About Posthumanism TheoryIn as brief a definition as possible, humanism is centered on the idea that human needs, values, concerns, and ideals are of the highest importance, or that the human being is the epitome of being. As a development of this idea, posthumanism is based on the notion that humankind can transcend the limitations of the physical human form. In a traditional sense, humans have been considered to be solidly and indisputably classified as high-functioning animals, but animals nonetheless. In this way, the same biological and physical constraints that limit the entire animal kingdom tether humankind to that base level. Posthumanism Theory suggests it is both possible and for the best for humans to attempt to surpass these limitations, often through the use of technology to augment biology (in a way, using the physiological capacity of the human brain to accelerate the functions of the entire human form).This progressive mentality is an important aspect of the human condition to consider in the course of modern document design and technical rhetoric. Operating under posthumanism ideals requires authors and creators to venture into the hypothetical and the unexplored because these are the areas that build upon and even improve what we already have established. Posthumanism holds this sentiment at heartthe idea that we, as humans, have no inherent barrier to making our physical and mental functionality much more efficient and powerful than it currently is. To apply these ideals to writing and rhetoric, there is the potential to incorporate the conventions of posthumanism both integrally and progressively. Integrally, a posthuman text should reflect the central ideas of posthumanism: what can authors do to make their texts transcend the perceived limitations of text and writing? How can documents be made to do more than what they currently can do, and how can their readability, usability, and accessibility be expanded? Progressively, a posthuman text should relatably adapt for evolutions in interaction: it might explore such questions as how will human interaction with documents change in the next 10, 20, 50, or 100 years? How can texts encourage mental expansion? What changes in technology can be predicted and accounted for in the delivery and interaction with documents and writing?Progressions in Usability and FunctionalityWhile the primary focus of posthumanist progression lies in the realm of higher technology, there are developments both in effect and yet to come that have much to do with technical writing and rhetoric. For many, many centuries, writing has been constrained to paper with static text. In more recent decades, the advent of computers and the Internet have caused documents to evolve and adapt. Institution of newer technologies allows for new methods of interactivity, which allow different senses to be utilized by human beings who interact with such documents. Through the use of technology, document designers and writers can allow their readers to interact at a more functional level which is more natural and fully engaging than mere reading.The qualities of new media enable documents and their interactive elements to tap into the human mind to a higher degree. In that way, technology is being utilized to better the human experience and tap into the full range of human capability. New developments in technology such as mobile phones, touch screens, e-readers, and other similar technology afford better interactivity and have evolved the way humans interact with their professional and social worlds. Technology is always changing to accommodate more natural, intuitive means of interactivitybut the most posthuman aspect of this technological innovation creep is the ubiquity of technology that allows delivery of writing and documents. Technology has filled in an accessibility gap that now grants access to documents and writing not only on printed paper, but on desktop computers, laptop computers, smartphones, and other such devices. This technology augments human beings' functionality from two directionsit enhances the ability of the audience to read and respond to writing, and it also enhances the ability of the author to create and distribute his or her writing.Posthumanist rhetoric requires a full understanding of the operation of the human being as an entity, both collectively as an audience and singularly as individual readers. Writing and rhetoric are able to be at their most posthuman when they utilize technology to transcend the physicality of humans as well as the temporality of their existence. In this way, authors begin accommodating more means of delivery and spreading the availability and accessibility of documents in addition to making documents available at much more timely intervalseven as far as on-demand. Posthuman authors who embrace technological advances gain new dimensions of interactivity both within their text as well as in response to their text. A posthuman rhetoric mindset enables the document to blossom further as a medium as it works in harmony with the qualities of its audience and their humanity.

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What does posthumanism mean? – definitions.net

Posthumanism

Posthumanism or post-humanism (meaning "after humanism" or "beyond humanism") is a term with at least seven definitions according to philosopher Francesca Ferrando:Antihumanism: any theory that is critical of traditional humanism and traditional ideas about humanity and the human condition.Cultural posthumanism: a branch of cultural theory critical of the foundational assumptions of humanism and its legacy that examines and questions the historical notions of "human" and "human nature", often challenging typical notions of human subjectivity and embodiment and strives to move beyond archaic concepts of "human nature" to develop ones which constantly adapt to contemporary technoscientific knowledge.Philosophical posthumanism: a philosophical direction which draws on cultural posthumanism, the philosophical strand examines the ethical implications of expanding the circle of moral concern and extending subjectivities beyond the human speciesPosthuman condition: the deconstruction of the human condition by critical theorists.Transhumanism: an ideology and movement which seeks to develop and make available technologies that eliminate aging and greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities, in order to achieve a "posthuman future".AI takeover: A more pessimistic alternative to transhumanism in which humans will not be enhanced, but rather eventually replaced by artificial intelligences. Some philosophers, including Nick Land, promote the view that humans should embrace and accept their eventual demise. This is related to the view of "cosmism" which supports the building of strong artificial intelligence even if it may entail the end of humanity as in their view it "would be a cosmic tragedy if humanity freezes evolution at the puny human level".Voluntary Human Extinction, which seeks a "posthuman future" that in this case is a future without humans.

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Posthumanism | Literature in a Wired World Wiki | FANDOM …

What is Posthumanism?Edit

According to the Oxford English Dictionary:

1. post-humanism: A system of thought formulated in reaction to the basic tenets of humanism, esp. its focus on humanity rather than the divine or supernatural

2. posthumanism: The idea that humanity can be transformed, transcended, or eliminated either by technological advances or the evolutionary processl artistic, scientific, or philosophical practice which also reflects this belief

...to find more information on this history of the word Posthumanism, click HERE

N. Katherine Hayles was born in St. Louis Missouri on December 16, 1943. She attended Rochester Institute of Technology where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry. She then attended the California Institute of Technology and earned a M.S. in Chemistry as well. In 1977, she went to the University of Rochester and earned a Ph.D. in English Literature.

N. Katherine Hayles is popular critic of posthumanism. She is most known for being the author of "How We Became Posthuman". She believes that although we can put our intellect into another machine, we still need to keep in mind who we are and that our information is not completely transferable-- we still need the use of our own bodies. She has become a critic to many believers of posthumanism who believe the body acts as a piece of hardware just as any other computer.

thumb|316px|left|Interview with N. Katherine Hayles by Stacey Cochran

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Hayles' paper on posthumanism intertwine with one another as Hayles believes in a "Separation between body and mind is a consequence of historical change rather than what must inevitably happen as part of their materialized life." As we progress further into a new age of humans slowly developing into an android-like state (people getting prosthesis to help them function better) we are not going against humanity but simply flowing with the tides of history. With this kind of change, we are brought with the question: what makes us human? In DADES the only method to determine who is a human and android is by one concept: empathy. Some of the humans follow a religion known as Mercerism which is based on empathy. By utilizing an empathy box, it links them to other humans as they take upon the obstacles that Mercer faces as a cohesive unit. We are brought upon a concept of how humans, identify ourselves as individuals and as members of a group through Mercerism by being able to feel empathy towards each other. The novel toys with the concept of expanding this group to the few existing animals on Earth, and even androids. These androids are advanced to the point where it is only possible to determine whether or not one is human or android by a test involving empathy. When the bountyhunter in DADES, Deckard, has to retire these androids, he begins to ponder if he in fact is human. He believes that if being human is the ability to feel empathy, then how can he truly be human without feeling empathy when he retires the androids. In order to expand the definition of human to androids, Hayles and Dick both believe that a new mixture of man and machine must occur to fulfill this expanded category to androids. A mixture of machine and man are already amongst us (as shown in one group's presentation of a man with a robot eyeball) and many already have robotic arms/legs etc.

Bladerunner is a movie based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric sheep. The film did not fare well in box offices, but has since become a classic. Some may say the film needed time to catch on but it is used in classrooms all around the United States to teach about posthumanism.

thumb|left|300px

Shelley Jackson was born in the Phillippines in 1963. Jackson attended Stanford undergraduate and Brown for her M.F.A. in creative writing. While at Brown Jackson was inspired to create her first hypertext fiction titled, Patchwork Girl. This work at the time was the best selling CD for electronic litterature and is considered a cornerstone in starting the electronic litterature movement. Jackson is currently teaching in The New School in New York City.

Similar to These Waves of Girls, "My Body" is a Hypertext Fiction that explores a young girl's memories of childhood and growing up. Many of the memories involve stories relating to growing up, sexuality, and body development. This hypertext fiction maps out different parts of a woman's body for readers to click and to discover the author's inner thoughts.

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What Is The Difference Between Posthumanism And Transhumanism?

A lot of people use the terms posthuman and transhuman interchangeably. To some extent, its reasonably okay to excuse them because these are both fairly new terms.

Posthumanism is traversing the current human condition to eliminate the things that are considered human nature. In other words, a post human state is where humans and genius machines are completely integrated so that its difficult to discern whats human. According to posthuman transcribers, the post human project will change the current perspective of everything considered human, as information patterns that are limiting the potential of humans will all be unlocked. The focus of Posthumanism is therefore on function as opposed to form.

Transhumanism, on the other hand, refers to physically transforming humans with any new technology, including bioengineering, digital technology, genetic engineering and others, to enhance their abilities; for example, making them more intelligent, stronger, immortal, and so on. In a conventional way, transhumanism can be classified as a sub-class of posthumanism. Transumanists are already using certain implants to modify their bodies for enhanced senses or brain power, so the focus is now on using prosthetics and other accessories or modifications as opposed to compensating for human abilities.

The major difference between the two is that Posthumanism puts a lot of emphasis on systems and their components, while transhumanism fully focuses on changing the form and abilities of the present human body. Another difference is that posthumans place importance on information and system theories (cybernetics) and their main relationship is with digital technology, while this is not the same for transhumans.

Posthumanism is a term that has been derived from the term post-human which represents death of a human subject. But what makes human is the qualities in the subjects. So with information these qualities can be modified for a posthuman body. Transhumanism, on the other hand, looks at life from the perspective of using the technology available to produce a super human being, a human of the future, a transhuman.

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What Is The Difference Between Posthumanism And Transhumanism?

Ecocriticism – Literary and Critical Theory – Oxford …

This section looks at some of the pioneering work in ecocriticism, as well as some of the most read work introducing the subject. Meeker 1972, presenting comedy and tragedy as ecological concepts, connects literary and environmental studies as a cohesive field of study. As an ethnologist and comparative literature scholar, Meeker helped to pioneer the critical discussion of ecocriticism in what he called literary ecologies. Following Meeker, Rueckert 1996 (first published 1978) actually coined the term ecocriticism, arguing for a way to find the grounds upon which the two communitiesthe human, the naturalcan coexist, cooperate, and flourish in the biosphere (p. 107). Love 1996 builds on the work of Meeker and Rueckert by essentially anticipating the explosion of and need for ecocriticism in just a few years. Ecocriticism as a literary and cultural theory significantly expanded in the 1990sparalleling other forms of literary and cultural theory, such as postcolonialism and critical race studieslargely due to the publication of Glotfelty and Fromm 1996 (cited under Collections of Essays), the first edited collection of essays and anthology to introduce a comprehensive critical outline of ecocriticism. Buell 1995, another critically dense and timely study, outlines the trajectory of American ecocriticism by way of Henry David Thoreau as a central figure. Kerridge and Sammells 1998 (cited under Collections of Essays), which expanded studies in race and class, as well as ecocritical history, followed both Glotfelty and Fromm 1996 and Buell 1995. Phillips 2003 offers a skeptical and refreshing critique of ecocriticism amid otherwise quite praiseworthybordering on mysticalcelebrations of nature in the scholarship of the 1990s. Garrard 2012 (first published 2004), along with Coupe 2000 (under Anthologies) and Armbruster and Wallace 2001 (under Nature Writing), serves as a political and theoretical turn in ecocriticism because it addresses more of the second wave concerns about animals, globality, and apocalypse. Clark 2011 is a contemporary overview that integrates a unified critical history of the waves, including nature writing, literary periods, theory, and activism, while it also provides sample readings that deploy specific ecocritical methods to literary texts. Garrard 2014 is the most recent overview volume, with many noteworthy ecocritical scholars; it serves as a somewhat updated version of Glotfelty and Fromm 1996. (See also Anthologies and Collections of Essays for some other notable overviews.)

Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.

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Looks back at the history of American nature writing through literary analysiswith Thoreaus Walden as a reference pointto establish a history of environmental perception and imagination. It examines how humanistic thought, particularly through literary nonfiction, can imagine a more ecocentric or green way of living. (See also Nature Writing.)

Clark, Timothy. The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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Provides updated introductory material to previous studies. It offers an excellent range of topics, and despite serving as an introduction, it employs incisive analysis of previously overlooked issues in introductory books on ecocriticism, such as posthumanism, violence, and animal studies. It is one of the best contemporary overviews.

Garrard, Greg. Ecocriticism. New York: Routledge, 2012.

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Examines a wide range of literary and cultural works. Two notable strengths: (1) it acknowledges the political dimension of ecocriticism; and (2) it explores a range of issues, from animal studies and definitions of wilderness and nature, to postapocalyptic narratives. It is available as an inexpensive paperback. Originally published in 2004.

Garrard, Greg, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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One of the most ambitious collections to date, with thirty-four chapters, this book is aimed at both general readers and students, but it also revisits the previous twenty years of ecocriticism to offer contemporary readings from the most prominent names in the field. It is an essential work for ecocritics.

Love, Glen. Revaluating Nature: Toward an Ecological Criticism. In The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, 225240. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

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Argues that literary studies must engage with the environmental crisis rather than remaining unresponsive. This essay advocates for revaluing a nature-focused literature away from an ego-consciousness to an eco-consciousness (p. 232). Originally published in 1990. See also Loves Practical Ecocriticism: Literature, Biology, and the Environment (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003).

Meeker, Joseph. The Comedy of Survival: Studies in Literary Ecology. New York: Scribners, 1972.

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One of the founding works of ecocriticism. It spans many centurieslooking at Dante, Shakespeare, and Petrarch, as well as E.O. Wilsonand analyzes comedy and tragedy as two literary forms that reflect forces greater than that of humans. The comedy of survival is at its core an ecological concept.

Phillips, Dana. The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195137699.001.0001E-mail Citation

One of the more prominent critiques of ecocritical theory, this book challenges neo-Romantic themes explored by ecocritics, many of which Phillips argues support the use of mimesis as a standard way to read environments, instead of looking at more pragmatic approaches.

Rueckert, William. Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism. In The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, 105123. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

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Notable primarily because it was the first publication to use the term ecocriticism as an environmentally minded literary analysis that discovers something about the ecology of literature (p. 71). Originally published in 1978.

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ETHConference2018

ENGLISH/FRENCH SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION

For a few years now, transhumanism has been a movement of thought whose influence can no longer be denied, both internationally within the media and in the academic, political, and economic worlds. However, recognising the emergence of a phenomenon is not the same as knowing it. Many questions remain unanswered about the very nature of transhumanism(s).

The purpose of ETHConference2018 is to analyze the current state of the art on these questions, exploring transhumanisms and their narratives. More broadly, the conference welcomes all abstract, panel and participatory workshop proposals related to transhumanism, posthumanism, hyperhumanism and their many related topics. Proposals from a wide range of disciplines are warmly welcomed.

TheConference is organised in such way that it will enable different audiences (scholars, professionals, citizens, politicians,...) to intermingle, combining the ambition and usual components of a high-level academic event (talks, panels, round tables,...)and a thought-provoking off-conference range of artistic,pedagogicaland cultural activities (audience-focused scientific workshops, participatory forums, predictive justice debating, theatre performance,public discussion of a cult film, a transhumanism-themed escape game, and others).

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ETHConference2018

Ecocriticism – Literary and Critical Theory – Oxford Bibliographies

Introduction

Ecocriticism is a broad way for literary and cultural scholars to investigate the global ecological crisis through the intersection of literature, culture, and the physical environment. Ecocriticism originated as an idea called literary ecology (Meeker 1972, cited under General Overviews) and was later coined as an -ism (Rueckert 1996, cited under General Overviews). Ecocriticism expanded as a widely used literary and cultural theory by the early 1990s with the formation of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) at the Western Literary Association (1992), followed by the launch of the flagship journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (cited under Journals) in 1993, and then later the publication of The Ecocriticism Reader (Glotfelty and Fromm 1996, cited under Collections of Essays). Ecocriticism is often used as a catchall term for any aspect of the humanities (e.g., media, film, philosophy, and history) addressing ecological issues, but it primarily functions as a literary and cultural theory. This is not to say that ecocriticism is confined to literature and culture; scholarship often incorporates science, ethics, politics, philosophy, economics, and aesthetics across institutional and national boundaries (Clark 2011, p. 8, cited under General Overviews). Ecocriticism remains difficult to define. Originally, scholars wanted to employ a literary analysis rooted in a culture of ecological thinking, which would also contain moral and social commitments to activism. As Glotfelty and Fromm 1996 (cited under Collections of Essays) famously states, ecocriticism takes an earth-centred approach to literary studies, rather than an anthropomorphic or human-centered approach (p. xviii). Many refer to ecocriticism synonymously as the study of literature and the environment (rooted in literary studies) or environmental criticism (interdisciplinary and cultural). Ecocriticism has been divided into waves to historicize the movement in a clear trajectory (Buell 2005, cited under Ecocritical Futures). The first wave of ecocriticism tended to take a dehistoricized approach to nature, often overlooking more political and theoretical dimensions and tending toward a celebratory approach of wilderness and nature writing. Ecocriticism expanded into a second wave, offering new ways of approaching literary analysis by, for example, theorizing and deconstructing human-centered scholarship in ecostudies; imperialism and ecological degradation; agency for animals and plants; gender and race as ecological concepts; and problems of scale. The third wave advocates for a global understanding of ecocritical practice through issues like global warming; it combines elements from the first and second waves but aims to move beyond Anglo-American prominence. There are currently hundreds of books and thousands of articles and chapters written about ecocriticism.

This section looks at some of the pioneering work in ecocriticism, as well as some of the most read work introducing the subject. Meeker 1972, presenting comedy and tragedy as ecological concepts, connects literary and environmental studies as a cohesive field of study. As an ethnologist and comparative literature scholar, Meeker helped to pioneer the critical discussion of ecocriticism in what he called literary ecologies. Following Meeker, Rueckert 1996 (first published 1978) actually coined the term ecocriticism, arguing for a way to find the grounds upon which the two communitiesthe human, the naturalcan coexist, cooperate, and flourish in the biosphere (p. 107). Love 1996 builds on the work of Meeker and Rueckert by essentially anticipating the explosion of and need for ecocriticism in just a few years. Ecocriticism as a literary and cultural theory significantly expanded in the 1990sparalleling other forms of literary and cultural theory, such as postcolonialism and critical race studieslargely due to the publication of Glotfelty and Fromm 1996 (cited under Collections of Essays), the first edited collection of essays and anthology to introduce a comprehensive critical outline of ecocriticism. Buell 1995, another critically dense and timely study, outlines the trajectory of American ecocriticism by way of Henry David Thoreau as a central figure. Kerridge and Sammells 1998 (cited under Collections of Essays), which expanded studies in race and class, as well as ecocritical history, followed both Glotfelty and Fromm 1996 and Buell 1995. Phillips 2003 offers a skeptical and refreshing critique of ecocriticism amid otherwise quite praiseworthybordering on mysticalcelebrations of nature in the scholarship of the 1990s. Garrard 2012 (first published 2004), along with Coupe 2000 (under Anthologies) and Armbruster and Wallace 2001 (under Nature Writing), serves as a political and theoretical turn in ecocriticism because it addresses more of the second wave concerns about animals, globality, and apocalypse. Clark 2011 is a contemporary overview that integrates a unified critical history of the waves, including nature writing, literary periods, theory, and activism, while it also provides sample readings that deploy specific ecocritical methods to literary texts. Garrard 2014 is the most recent overview volume, with many noteworthy ecocritical scholars; it serves as a somewhat updated version of Glotfelty and Fromm 1996. (See also Anthologies and Collections of Essays for some other notable overviews.)

Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.

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Looks back at the history of American nature writing through literary analysiswith Thoreaus Walden as a reference pointto establish a history of environmental perception and imagination. It examines how humanistic thought, particularly through literary nonfiction, can imagine a more ecocentric or green way of living. (See also Nature Writing.)

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Clark, Timothy. The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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Provides updated introductory material to previous studies. It offers an excellent range of topics, and despite serving as an introduction, it employs incisive analysis of previously overlooked issues in introductory books on ecocriticism, such as posthumanism, violence, and animal studies. It is one of the best contemporary overviews.

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Garrard, Greg. Ecocriticism. New York: Routledge, 2012.

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Examines a wide range of literary and cultural works. Two notable strengths: (1) it acknowledges the political dimension of ecocriticism; and (2) it explores a range of issues, from animal studies and definitions of wilderness and nature, to postapocalyptic narratives. It is available as an inexpensive paperback. Originally published in 2004.

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Garrard, Greg, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

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One of the most ambitious collections to date, with thirty-four chapters, this book is aimed at both general readers and students, but it also revisits the previous twenty years of ecocriticism to offer contemporary readings from the most prominent names in the field. It is an essential work for ecocritics.

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Love, Glen. Revaluating Nature: Toward an Ecological Criticism. In The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, 225240. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

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Argues that literary studies must engage with the environmental crisis rather than remaining unresponsive. This essay advocates for revaluing a nature-focused literature away from an ego-consciousness to an eco-consciousness (p. 232). Originally published in 1990. See also Loves Practical Ecocriticism: Literature, Biology, and the Environment (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003).

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Meeker, Joseph. The Comedy of Survival: Studies in Literary Ecology. New York: Scribners, 1972.

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One of the founding works of ecocriticism. It spans many centurieslooking at Dante, Shakespeare, and Petrarch, as well as E.O. Wilsonand analyzes comedy and tragedy as two literary forms that reflect forces greater than that of humans. The comedy of survival is at its core an ecological concept.

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Phillips, Dana. The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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One of the more prominent critiques of ecocritical theory, this book challenges neo-Romantic themes explored by ecocritics, many of which Phillips argues support the use of mimesis as a standard way to read environments, instead of looking at more pragmatic approaches.

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Rueckert, William. Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism. In The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, 105123. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

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Notable primarily because it was the first publication to use the term ecocriticism as an environmentally minded literary analysis that discovers something about the ecology of literature (p. 71). Originally published in 1978.

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Ecocritical scholarship owes a great debt to environmental philosophers, historians, sociologists, and biologists who have helped to conceptualize the relationship among humans, nonhumans, nature, and culture. Although a complete list of possible influential writings would be enormous, the following provides a brief outline of some instrumental works. Leopold 1949, from a conservationist perspective, is a monumental work that challenges anthropocentric thinking with the now famous concept of Thinking like a Mountain as part of The Land Ethic. Carson 2002 (first published 1962) challenged the industrial-chemical complex by arguing that the use pesticides are, contrary to popular science at the time, both socially and environmentally harmful. Whereas Carson pioneered the activist strain in ecocriticism, Marx 2000 (first published 1964) did so through literary and historical criticism by questioning the American pastoral imagination as an environmental threat. White 1996 (first published 1967) located the root cause of the historical ecological crisis in Judeo-Christian values. White, along with many other later ecological writings, condemned Judeo-Christian theology for neglecting to care for the present physical world in anticipation of the eternal one hereafter. Rooted in cultural and Marxist theory, Williams 1973 adroitly analyzed the urban-rural dialectic between the city and country. This work partly influenced ecocritical scholarship to challenge the Eurocentric divide between nature and culture. Nash 1989 brought the ethical and social ecological dimension into contemporary debates by promoting the rights of nonhuman organisms. Williams 1992 is a multi-genre personal account of the ecological crisis; it has become a widely read work in classrooms as well as cited in ecocritical scholarship.

Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

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Considered by many to have initiated the contemporary environmental and ecological movements. It addresses the systemic problem of environmental degradation brought on by corporate industry and advocates for protection through public awareness and resistance. Originally published in 1962.

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Leopold, Aldo. Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1949.

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Calls for a revolutionary Land Ethic as an environmental philosophy that every human should follow: A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise (p. 189). Reprinted in 2001.

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Marx, Leo. The Machine and the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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Largely a book about pastoralism in 19th- and 20th-century America, it traces the history of technology in society and culture. It argues that pastoralisma utopian theme of expansive landscapes for settlement and utilityhas and continues to define the environmental consciousness of America. Originally published in 1964.

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Nash, Roderick Frazier. The Rights of Nature: A History of Environmental Ethics. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.

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Demonstrates the influence of environmentalism in various intellectual fields. It catalogues the green wave in society and politics, and questions the rights of other nonhuman organisms. As a piece of social ecology and environmental philosophy, it was a major influence on ecocriticism.

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White, Lynn, Jr. The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis. In The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, 314. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

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This famous essay reconsiders how cultural influence and social conditioningthrough beliefs and valuescan affect environmental consciousness. Specifically, the essay criticizes Judeo-Christianity for supporting anthropocentric superiority. Giving humans a licence to dominate the natural world has led to the contemporary environmental crisis. Originally published in 1967.

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Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973.

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Contextualizes the dialectic between rural and urban thinking that has divided culture from environments for centuries. Often framed as a pastoral critique from a Marxist perspective, this book anticipates holistic discussions about the integration of built and nonbuilt environments in contemporary ecocritical discourses.

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Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge. New York: Vintage, 1992.

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Part memoir, part naturalist writing, part tragedy, this book explores Williamss experience watching her mothers death from breast cancer while also watching the destruction of a bird sanctuary through flooding. It remains one of the most influential narrative books of ecocritical studies (e.g., see Narrative Ecocriticism).

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There have been massive amounts of collections of essays about ecocriticism, offering a diverse range of writings on interdisciplinary topics, which is what ecocriticism accomplishes as a literary and cultural theory. This list offers some of the noteworthy publications across many subjects, beginning with Glotfelty and Fromm 1996, which serves as both an anthology of previous publications (e.g., Meeker 1972, Rueckert 1996, and Love 1996, cited under General Overviews, Silko 1996, cited under Critical Race Studies), as well as many new essays at the time of its publication. Bennett and Teague 1999 is particularly significant for including urban or built environments as a central part of the ecocritical discussion; it helped to challenge the idea that ecocriticism focuses on tradition notions of nature. Slovic and Branch 2003 bridges the gap between the first and second waves of ecocritical studies, where scholars took a decidedly more theoretical turn in scholarship. Goodbody and Rigby 2011 largely differs from others in this list because it assemble an original collection focused on European ecocritical theory (see also Global Perspectives). Turning to pedagogy, Garrard 2012 is one of several collections on teaching ecocriticism in the classroom, a trend that began with Waages Teaching Environmental Literature: Materials, Methods, Resources (1985). Lynch, et al. 2012 also contains a section on pedagogy, but it is couched in the larger analysis of bioregional thinking (local community and sustainable culture). Westling 2013 is a collection on contemporary literary and cultural environmental concerns in the widely read Cambridge Companion series.

Bennett, Michael, and David W. Teague, eds. The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1999.

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The essays in this volume invite readers to think about the environment as a larger and more holistic concept, moving away from the separation of nonbuilt (nature) and built (cities) environments. It remains one of the few works about urban ecocriticism.

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Garrard, Greg, ed. Teaching Ecocriticism and Green Cultural Studies. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

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Emphasizes the roots of ecocriticism as a teaching-activist-scholarly pursuit through a range of collected essays. This book stands out as one of the few collections or monographs to focus entirely on the pedagogy and practice of a green literary and cultural study.

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Glotfelty, Cheryll, and Harold Fromm, eds. The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

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This landmark publication in the field is both collection and anthology; it provides previously published essays (e.g., Lynne White Jr., William Rueckert, Paula Gunn Allen, Leslie Marmon Silko), along with many original essays. It introduces the critical concept of ecocriticism as a response to the global environmental crisis.

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Goodbody, Axel, and Kate Rigby, eds. Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011.

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Noteworthy for representing a distinctively European ecocriticism, providing a break from the dominant North American voice. This collection theorizies ecocriticism, while keeping the practice and activist element intact, through European philosophy, theorists, and environmental thinkers.

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Kerridge, Richard, and Neil Sammells, eds. Writing the Environment: Ecocriticism and Literature. London: Zed Books, 1998.

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Serves as one of the early collections in the field and provides samples of what ecocritics do (p. 8). This collection contains essays on race and environmental justice, childrens environmental literature, pop culture, and body politics.

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Lynch, Tom, Cheryll Glotfelty, and Karla Armbruster, eds. The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2012.

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Aims to explain the idea in literary criticism of bioregionalisma sustainable sense of place on a day-to-day scale that we can inhabit beyond national or political boundaries. This collection is skilfully arranged in four sections: Reinhabiting, Rereading, Reimaging, and Renewal (forming a bioregional pedagogy).

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Slovic, Scott, and Michael Branch, eds. The ISLE Reader: Ecocriticism, 19932003. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2003.

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Based upon early essays published in the flagship ecocritical journal ISLE, this collection charts a thorough trajectory of the essays that defined the ecocritical movement in the 1990s. It provides an excellent overview of earlier prominent ecocritical scholarship in essay form.

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Westling, Louise, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

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Offers a range of introductory writings on ecocriticism, as other collections in this list do, but provides a more contemporary approach. Despite the title, it also includes essays about cinema and ecotheory as well.

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This section includes some of the more widely used anthologies that reproduce excerpts of previously published works by writers, essayists, travelers, and poets in environmental literature and culture. Lyon 1989 is as an early anthology used in environmental writing courses in the early to mid-1990s, during the early expansion of ecocriticism as a field. Another batch of anthologies emerged on the market in the late 1990s. Halpern and Frank 1998 diversifies the range of nature and environmental writers and even includes some international figures. Anderson, et al. 2013 is a comprehensive textbook and reader that differs from many of the readers in this list, which mainly reproduce experts of previously published material. Many of the earlier volumesLyon 1989, Halpern and Frank 1998, and even Branch 2004, the latter of which focuses on the origins of nature writingresemble each other in content and approach. The later volumes, starting with Coupe 2000, begin to address a wider range of second wave concerns. Coupe provides an extensive overview of literary periods in ecocriticism, beginning with the Romantics. Fisher-Wirth and Street 2013 is a volume devoted entirely to American environmental poetry. Hiltner 2014 is the most recent and comprehensive reader in this list, except for perhaps Coupe 2000, although it does not offer the pedagogical elements that Anderson, et al. 2013 does. A significant gap at the moment in ecocritical anthologies remains the lack of a complete anthology of environmental writers from around the globe.

Anderson, Lorraine, Scott P. Slovic, and John P. OGrady, eds. Literature and the Environment: A Reader on Nature and Culture. New York: Pearson Longman, 2013.

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Ecocriticism - Literary and Critical Theory - Oxford Bibliographies

Gabriel S De Anda | Writer

Everything has been said, but not everything has been said superbly, and even if it had been, everything must be said freshly over and over again. Paul Horgan

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The times they are a-changing, especially in the realm of self-publishing.Acres of verbiage have been expended on the pros and cons of authors doing it for themselves.We will have to content ourselves here with saying, Not all tomes produced in this fashion are valueless. Heres one worthy candidate: Cherubimbo (Xlibris, trade paper, $19.99, 190 pages, ISBN 978-1-4628-4731-0) by Gabriel S. de Anda. With prior publication credits in several respectable zines, these stories come pre-vetted by an editorial acumen that is so often absent in other DIY productions. A practicing lawyer, de Anda infuses a couple of pieces with stefnal legal expertise, in the vein of Charles Harness. Time travel offers him lots of room for playful speculation, particularly in the emotionally resonant 1969. And some colorful posthumanism informs My Year To Be A Horse. De Andas touch is solid yet light-hearted, a winning one-two punch.

Paul Di Filippo 2013

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Here are a two more books by Gabriel S. de Anda.

The rest is here:

Gabriel S De Anda | Writer

Wiley: Posthumanism – Pramod K. Nayar

This timely book examines the rise of posthumanism as both a material condition and a developing philosophical-ethical project in the age of cloning, gene engineering, organ transplants and implants.

Nayar first maps the political and philosophical critiques of traditional humanism, revealing its exclusionary and speciesist politics that position the human as a distinctive and dominant life form. He then contextualizes the posthumanist vision which, drawing upon biomedical, engineering and techno-scientific studies, concludes that human consciousness is shaped by its co-evolution with other life forms, and our human form inescapably influenced by tools and technology. Finally the book explores posthumanisms roots in disability studies, animal studies and bioethics to underscore the constructed nature of normalcy in bodies, and the singularity of species and life itself.

As this book powerfully demonstrates, posthumanism marks a radical reassessment of the human as constituted by symbiosis, assimilation, difference and dependence upon and with other species. Mapping the terrain of these far-reaching debates, Posthumanism will be an invaluable companion to students of cultural studies and modern and contemporary literature.

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Wiley: Posthumanism - Pramod K. Nayar

Screen/Print #52: Shela Sheikh Searches for New Political Vocabularies in ‘And Now: Architecture Against a Developer … – Archinect

On November 8, 2016 Donald Trump won the US Presidential election. Just under a month later, the US Army Corps of Engineers temporarily halted the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline following large protests heavily covered by the media. These events frame Shela Sheikhs essay Translating Geontologies, which contends with an emerging (or at least, for some, a newly visible) political landscape marked by an insidious violence that is more often than not environmental and affecting the bodies of racialized subjects.

First published in the issue And Nowof theAvery Review, Sheikhs essay considers Elizabeth Povinellis conception of geontology, or the regulation of distinctions between Life and Death/Extinction/Nonlife under late liberal governancea sort of updated version of Foucauldian biopolitics. Sheikh, following Povinelli, questions how to make struggles against environmental dispossession, in particular those of indigenous communities, legible and visible without either reducing them into a broad, global image of indigeneity or retreating into a complicit silence. In short, the essay interrogates the efficacy of our current political vocabularies, asserting the need for, and imagining the contours of, a new political language and praxis. Months after the essay was written, the Trump administration announced that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline was moving forward, proving the urgency of this line of inquiry into the co-constitution of social, political, colonialist and ecological violences.

Translating Geontologies will be included in the forthcoming bookan expansion of the journal issueAnd Now: Architecture Against a Developer Presidency (Essays on the Occasion of Trumps Inauguration). The volume, which is edited by James Graham, Alissa Anderson, Caitlin Blanchfield, Jordan H. Carver, Jacob Moore, and Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt, explores potential roles for architecture during the administration of a self-proclaimed Builder-in-Chief. How is architecture already complicit in neoliberal forms of governance? In the displacement and dispossession of peoples? For the editors, Naming these complicities and the injustices they perpetuate is a first step toward addressing them

The 52nd iteration of Archinects recurring series Screen/Print, recently expanded to include books alongside journals and magazines, features Translating Geologies.

Translating Geographies

ByShela Sheikh

November 8, 2016: Donald Trump wins the US presidential election. December 4, 2016: The US Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would temporarily halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to allow for an environmental impact review. Undoubtedly, these two dates mark events, the effects of which have resonated globally. In contrast to the former, the latter provided a moment of hope, a glimpse of effective alliance-building on a national and international scale that will need to be carried forward in the coming months and beyonda moment of effective, indigenous-led environmental protest. This protest did more than simply reject the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rather, in its rhetoric of protection, it sought to lay the groundwork for a future that has been precipitously threatened by Trumps open support for the pipeline and drilling for oil across US national parks, not to mention his private investments in the project and his public denial of the scientific facts of environmental violence and climate change.

Fig 1: Sitting Bull with protectors in Canon Ball, ND. Photograph by Joe Brusky.

But neither of these events came out of nowhere and as such are to be distinguished from a more philosophical definition of event, as marking an unprecedented rupture. Behind each is a long accumulation of grievances that allowed them to unfold. In the former case, speculation is rife regarding the persuasion of the electorate; behind the latter lies decades of what the anthropologist Elizabeth A. Povinelli names quasi-events, which often elude our apprehension as ethical and political demands but which at times achieve the status of events through their amplification by the media. As we have seen in the case of Standing Rock, despite the initial lack of coverage by mainstream media, the campaign was exemplary in its garnering of both national and international support. These quasi-events take the form of dispersed violence, patterns of uneventful dispossession, or what Rob Nixon names slow violencetypically not even perceived as violence, attritional and of delayed effects, an insidious violence that is more often than not environmental and affecting the bodies of racialized subjects.

For many, the present moment calls for a new language: a new political praxis that entails effective communication on a municipal, national, and international level, through forums that would involve speaking with one another through antagonism and about uncomfortable matters. What, then, of our critical lexicon? What new terms are needed? What currency do the academic terms currently at our disposal, above all in the Euro-Western academy, hold? What formations of power and governmentality might we be overlooking?

If alliances across national borders between seemingly independent strugglesexemplified in the support for the water protectors at Standing Rockare necessary not only for the achievement of short-term goals but also for the building of public consciousness regarding those struggles interconnectedness, then so, too, are alliances across disciplinary borders. For a start, as is applicable to mobilizations like the one at Standing Rock, as Rob Nixon and others have suggested, North American environmentalism and post/decolonial/indigenous studies must join forces, making way for what has been termed postcolonial ecologies. In their accounting for the manners in which certain bodies are culturally and politically constructed as disposable or sacrificeable, above all in the context of climate and environmental violence, scholars of postcolonial studies teach us valuable lessons. These lessons are all the more urgent in the context of the unabashedly racist, xenophobic, and misogynist rhetoric unleashed during the entirety of the Trump presidential campaign.the present moment calls for a new language: a new political praxis that entails effective communication on a municipal, national, and international level

Likewise, key figures in indigenous studies and anthropology (notably Povinelli and Glen Sean Coulthard) have made use of postcolonial theory to expose the cunning of state-sanctioned, late liberal politics of recognition and multiculturalism in governing difference and maintaining structures of subjugation beneath the veneer of rights and reconciliation. This work also points to an imperative to examine not simply primitive accumulation but also original accumulationthe dispossession of indigenous or Aboriginal land. Here, the resulting extermination of life and lifeworlds functions, once again, through the mechanisms that render certain bodies and forms of life sacrificeableexposed to the abovementioned quasi-events at best, genocide at worst. And it is precisely this eventfulness and legal categorization of various intensities of violencetheir visibility and assignability, as well as their extricability from environmental violencethat is at stake here.

The work of postcolonial ecology is already well under way, and it is becoming all too clear that this must be supplemented by decolonial, indigenous, and feminist critiques of Anthropocene discourse, as well as of the attendant posthumanism that seeks to counter the Anthropocene industrys prevailing anthropocentrism. But even beyond this, as William E. Connolly articulates in his forthcoming Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming, additional borders require dismantling: the aggregate of postcolonial ecology in and of itself is not enough. Rather, this must dialogue more forcefully than ever before with eco-movements and with new practitioners of earth sciences. In other words, the lessons learned from the anti-colonial or anti-imperial ecological struggles that have taken place outside the old capitalist centers and in depressed urban areas within them demand to be translated into what Connolly names a cross-regional pluralist assemblage, one that presses states, corporations, churches, universities, and the like from inside and outside simultaneously. Furthermore, for such lessons to be effective in our contemporary climate, attention must be paid to the geological. While a partial response to this can be located in something like geographer Kathryn Yusoffs theorizations of geologic life within the geological epoch of the Anthropocene, the recent work of anthropologist Elizabeth A. Povinelli is particularly useful here. Though she may not explicitly use the term postcolonial ecology, Povinelli implicitly offers much for a necessarily postcolonial conceptualization of eco-movements and eco-activism (above all where each is concerned with aesthetic strategies and creative practices), precisely in her foregrounding of the relationship between Life and Nonlife, the biological and the geological, biopower and geontopower, under the conditions of settler late liberalism.

Fig 2: Elizabeth A. Povinellis Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism. Published by Duke University Press, 2016.

Povinellis latest book, Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism, was published in September 2016, simultaneous to the growing mobilization against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Recapitulating earlier presentations on the same topic, Geontologies at once forms the third part of Povinellis trilogy on late liberalism (which includes the Empire of Love [2006] and Economies of Abandonment [2011]) and also revisits her reflections on governance in settler late liberalism begun in her 1993 book Labors Lot. Geontologies is a dense work that resists being described in telegraphic terms, based as it is in dazzling and far-reaching theoretical and philosophical readings. But Povinellis key concepts of geontology and geontopower are an invaluable contribution to our much-needed critical lexicon, evoked above, and reading her work from this perspective suggests that the concepts and modes of engagement presented in Geontologies, though firmly rooted in the experience and particular governance of Australian late-settler liberalism, demand to be taken up and translated in other contexts. When Povinelli speaks of late liberalism in Geontologies, she is specifically referring to the strategies of power that took shape in the late 1960s and early 1970s that exposed the emerging politics of recognition and open markets as methods of conserving liberal governance and the accumulation of value for dominant classes and social groups rather than as means to ameliorate social and economic injustices (169). In her earlier Economies of Abandonment, she elucidates the way that late liberalism refers to a strategy for governing the challenge of postcolonial and new social movements, with Geontologies demonstrating how this governing takes place precisely through the management of the perceived relationship between the biological and the geological. Despite this specificity, the offerings of Geontologies call to be translated, both geographically and conceptually, and provide a lens through which to read the protests surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline or other instances in North America, where the residues of settler colonialism persist, even ifcruciallythis persistence is often denied. critical theorists struggle to maintain a difference between all forms of Life and the category of Nonlife

As a consequence of attempts to grapple with the reality and concept of the Anthropocene in recent years, ontology, as Povinelli notes, has reemerged as a central problem across disciplines: philosophy, anthropology, literary and cultural studies, as well as science and technology studies, for a start (14). Hence the rise of posthumanistand, we might add, more-than-human or multispeciespolitics and theory. But critical theorists struggle to maintain a difference between all forms of Life and the category of Nonlife, with the crumbling ontological distinctions between biological, geological, and meteorological existents opening up onto the proliferation of new object ontologies (new materialisms, speculative realisms, and object-oriented ontologies) (14). A posthuman critique is giving way to a post-life critique, being to assemblage, and biopower to geontopower (14). This might not sound like news to readers who follow these theoretical debates, but what is novel about Povinellis analysisand indeed what makes it so prescient for the United States context with which we beganis the mode through which geontopower is analyzed, or, rather, the manner through which the experience of geontopower is framed and narrated, made visible.

Let us rewind a little

In the wake of the events of 9/11, the crash of financial markets, and the ongoing, spectacular manifestations of Anthropogenic climate change (all visible crises), much of critical thought has, understandably, focused on sovereignty and the relationship between biopolitics and biosecuritya manner of thought that includes variations such as necropolitics, thanatopolitics, neuropolitics, and so on. But as Povinelli argues, this focus has obscured the systematic re-orientation of biosecurity around geo-security and meteoro-security: the social and ecological effects of climate change (19). This is not to say that biopolitics should be entirely replaced by geontopower but rather that biopolitics, as Kathryn Yusoff has shown, is increasingly subtended by geology (14) and geontopower. Thus, our preoccupation with the image of power working through lifea preoccupation that perhaps doubles as a typical definition of biopoliticshas, in fact, obscured the revelation of formation that is fundamental to but hidden by the concept of biopower (4). This newly revealed formation is what Povinelli terms geontological power or geontopower. Unlike biopower, geontopower does not operate through the governance of life and the tactics of death but is rather a set of discourses, affects, and tactics used in late liberalism to maintain or shape the coming relationship of the distinction between Life and Nonlife (4). The terms geontology and geontopower thus intensify the contrasting components of nonlife (geos) and being (ontology) currently at play in the late liberal governance of difference and markets (5).

To return to my evocation of translatability: central to Geontologies, and indeed to Povinellis broader practice as an anthropologist, is the specific rootedness of her work in the fragile coastal ecosystem of Northern Territory of Australia and the allegiances staked with my Indigenous friends and colleagues (13). The concept of geontopower presented in Povinellis text arises first and foremost from the perspective of the Karrabing Collective, a grassroots, supermajority indigenous alternative media collective and social project of which Povinelli is a member. The work of the Karrabing Collective emerges from and elucidates the experience of the massive neoliberal reorganization of the Australian governance of Indigenous life (24) and the slow, dispersed accumulations of toxic sovereignties (27) against the backdrop of, among other things, indigenous land rights claims over mining leases. Geontologies is structured around the Karrabings engagement with various modes of existence, often referred to as Dreaming or totemic formationsa rock and mineral formation; a set of bones and fossils; an estuarine creek; a fog formation; and a set of rock weirs and sea reefsas well as their desire to maintain them, and their challenges to the states violation, desecration, or misrecognition of each respective formation.

Film still from Wutharr: Saltwater Dreams by the Karrabing Film Collective, 2016. Courtesy of the Karrabing Film Collective.

Here, it is not humansper sethat have exerted such a malignant force on the meteorological, geological, and biological dimension of the earth but only some forms of human sociality (13)just as it is not humansper sewho bear the brunt of this or of Anthropocenic climate change. Hence the critiques of Anthropocene discourse and the inadequacy of the Anthropos as a universalizing species paradigm: taking the general category of the human as a framing device conceals the distinctions between those people who drive the fossil-fuel economy and those who dont, between those populations engaged in colonial-slash-imperial agendas and those on the receiving end. But just when we attempt to distinguish between different modes of inhabiting the planet in order to identify those culpable, we find that our gaze cannot remain localized. From the Northern Territory or Dakota, we must look further afield (Povinellis metaphor moves between the telescope and binoculars): following the flows of toxic industries and their by-products means stretching the local across seeping transits, suspended between the local and the globalhereish, to use Povinellis term (13).

If the task, as articulated by Nixon, is to render the grievances of slow violence legibleto find forms through which to aestheticize and narrate the quasi-events of, for instance, environmental dispossessionthen in the case of geontopower, it is preciselythroughthe late liberal governance of difference and markets that geontology can be best revealed. This late liberal model of governance works only insofar as the distinctions between the vital and inert, Life and Death/Extinction or Nonlife are maintained (9). And here, the lessons offered by the settler colonial Australian context are in many ways applicable to the United States. Geontology and geontopower, for Povinelli, are conceptsmeant to help make visiblethe figural tactics of late liberalism as a long-standing biontological orientation and distribution of power crumbles, losing its efficacy as a self-evident backdrop to reason (56, emphasis modified). More specifically, just as necropolitics, openly operating in colonial Africa, subsequentlyrevealed its shapein Europe, so geontopower has long operated openly in settler late liberalism and been insinuated in the ordinary operations of its governance of difference and markets (5). To quote Povinelli at length:

All sorts of liberalisms seem to evidence a biopolitical stain, from settler colonialism to developmental liberalism to full-on neoliberalism. But something is causing these statements to be irrevocably read and experienced through a new drama, not the drama of life and death, but a form of death that begins and ends in Nonlifenamely the extinction of humans, biological life, and, as it is often put, the planet itselfwhich takes us to a time before the life and death of individuals and species, a time of the geos, of soulnessness.(89)

Industrial capital depends upon the separation between forms of existence in order to implement certain forms of extractionRecalling the question of lexicon that we began with, for Povinelli, the termsgeontologyandgeontopowerare intended to highlightthe difficulty in finding a critical languageto account for the moment in which a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalismis becoming visible globally (5, my emphasis).

Let me be clear: it is neither my intention here either to carelessly reduce the specificity of the Australian settler late liberalism from which Povinelli writes to the system of governance of the United States, nor to make such a crude move as to put forward a blanket, global conception of indigeneity and indigenous lifeworlds, and thus to betray the very specificity ofPovinellis work that I am here celebrating, even if my gesture is to stress its partial translatability. Rather, my point is to emphasize the potential usefulness of Povinellis analytics and vocabulary in the context of the impending populism and even nativism of the United States and to stress that the still all-too-tangible residues of North American settler colonialism (as well as what decolonial thinkers would term coloniality) not be left out of our myriad political conversation. As Povinelli herself stresses in a recent discussion about settler colonialism in Palestine, the identity of settler indigenous populations is a conscious, visible part of everyday national politics in Canada and Australia, while in the United States this is far from the case.

To clarify yet another aspect of translatability (and in allusion to the postcolonial or indigenous ecology signaled earlier), it is precisely through a colonial mind-set that late liberalismand indeed liberalism of all sorts across the globe, not to mention capitalism more generally and the impending Republican administrationreacts so violently to maintain the distinction between Life and Nonlife and to police and to manage those whose lifeworlds presume otherwise. Industrial capitalthough one could also refer to something like the Dakota Access Pipeline more specificallydepends upon the separation between forms of existence in order to implement certain forms of extraction (20). In the context of settler liberalism, the belief that Nonlife acts in ways only available to Life must be contained in the brackets of the impossible if not the absurd (21) and the attribution of aninabilityof various colonized people to differentiate the kinds of things that have agency, subjectivity, and intentionality of the sort that emerges with life has been the grounds for casting them into a premodern mentality and a postrecognition difference (5).

Povinellis concept of geontologies provides a timely addition to current theorizations and diagnoses of power and governance, between human and nonhuman, Life and Nonlife, in the settler colonial context of both Australia and the United States. But it is Povinellis book, in its architectural framework (each chapter derives from a vignette, a narrative of the Karrabings analytics and engagement with respective forms of Dreaming), itself derivative of her anthropology of the otherwise, that provides most currency for the political tasks that lie aheadabove all where this concerns the move from academia to (postcolonially informed) socially engaged praxis and back again. For while the mobilizations at Standing Rock drew a staggering number of gestures of solidarity (in situ or otherwise), from an academic perspective, the warnings posed by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak in her seminal 1988 essay, Can the Subaltern Speak? prove as prescient as ever, albeit relating to different forms of subaltern. Beyond the Indian subaltern woman who is at the center of Spivaks original essay, we now see the dangers of mis-representing and speaking for not only indigenous subjects, whose worldviews/lifeworlds often remain stubbornly (and productively, one might add) untranslatable or incommensurable with the prevailing mind-set of both late liberalism and neoliberalism but also nature itself, or the nonhuman more generally. In other words, the conundrum remains as to whether any form of representation, however well-intentioned, necessarily involves at least some form of colonization: a rendering passive or mute. Hence the necessity of vigilance when faced with the impossible necessity, to use Astrida Neimaniss term, ofengaging withthose who more often than not bear the brunt of the slow violence and quasi-events with which we began.

Against this kind of colonization, Povinellis intention is not to represent anyone, let alone to allow the nonhuman modes of existence to speak (26). Rather, we might say that she aims to stand with rather than speak for, and she situates the genesis of her claims in the effects of late liberal forces moving through that part of our lives that we [Povinelli and the Karrabing collective] have lived together (23). Such an approach provides a useful point of orientation for those of us who find ourselves caught in the discomforting space between, as Neimanis puts it, a representationalist rock and a hard place of complicit silence.Geontologies, writtenwithPovinellis indigenous colleagues-slash-family, provides just one example of the vital work being done by scholars and activists across the globe, as the Mtis scholar and artist Zoe Todd puts it, to decolonize and Indigenize the non-Indigenous intellectual contexts that currently shape public intellectual discourse (including, Todd adds, the discourse of the Anthropocene).

Film still from Wutharr: Saltwater Dreams by the Karrabing Film Collective, 2016. Courtesy of the Karrabing Film Collective.

How, then, might this project of making visible proceed? One possibility can be found in the films created by the Karrabing collective itself. As Povinelli notes, the various forms of critique that have attempted to tackle the theoretical challenges inherent to this age of the Anthropocenequestions of multiple ontologies, the difference between Life and Nonlife, our coming post-extinction worldhave tended to lag behind fiction (14). The aesthetic objects that are the Karrabings films operate through an improvisational realism or improvisational realization. As much an art of living as an artistic style, the genre, if we can call it this, seeks to manifest reality (a realization) through a mixture of fact and fiction, reality and realism (86) that makes visible or illuminates the quasi-events that occur within the cramped space in which my indigenous colleagues are forced to maneuver as they attempt to keep relevant their critical analytics and practices of existence (6). But this making visiblethis translation or rendering legible across registersoperates precisely through a certain illegibility or incomprehensibility: a stubborn resistance that explicitly rejects the representations from withoutthe demand for a certain (global) (self-)image of indigeneity, or indeed the demand of the anthropological imaginarythrough which authentic indigeneity is managed, marketed, and circulated. As such, read through the polysemy of translation, the productive paradox here is that this filmmaking practice is effective in its revealing the functioning of geontopower precisely through its partial untranslatability and incommensurability Rather than providing a representation of their lives, the films are intended as a means of self-organization and analysis, revealing new forms of collective indigenous agency precisely in relation to various Dreaming formations. Crucially, the films function as a constantly improvisational response to the suffocating state management of such relations.

Despite the increasing solidification of global borders, epitomized by the rhetoric of the Trump campaign, members of the Karrabing Collective have nonetheless recently been able to acquire passports in order to travel to participate in international screenings and discussions. But beyond this, platforms running supplementary to mainstream media (evoking Nancy Frasers subaltern counter-publics, here digital) provide crucial means for the virtual translation of what, as evoked above, functions precisely through a certain level of stubborn opacity. Explicitly rejecting state forms of land tenure and the politics of recognition, with membership that elides blood ties, the composition of the Karrabing Collective resonates with the gestures of solidarity from the diverse constituencies who traveled to Standing Rockgestures made in the face of the United States mainstream medias attempts to reduce the claims and representational practices of indigenous struggle (their attempts to communicate) to mere incommunicable noise. While the Karrabing Collectives practice elucidates and narrates the dispersed quasi-events brought about by toxic sovereignty and geontopower, this elucidation is far from a straightforward translation. Nonetheless, there is an urgency to translate geontology across todays multiple and overlapping crises, especially as these pertain to colonial or imperial debris: (settler-)colonialisms ongoing effects of ruination.

Sheila Sheikh is a lecturer at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, where she convenes the MA Postcolonial Culture and Global Policy. Prior to this, Sheikh was research fellow and publications coordinator on the ERC-funded Forensic Architecture project based in the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths. She is currently working on a book about the phenomenon of the martyr video-testimony, read through the lens of deconstruction; and a multi-platform research project around colonialism, botany, and the politics of the soil. As part of the latter, Sheikh is co-editing, with Ros Gray, a special issue ofThird Texttitled The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions.

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