Category Archives: biopolitics

Epigenetics and Blaming Mothers: Working with Dr. Amy Non

Before this semester began, I harbored a secret interest in genetics and environmental heredity, an interest that I kept hidden from my work in English because it seemed so disconnected. But this has rapidly been changing. During this semester I have h… Continue reading

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When You Stare Into the Uncanny Valley, the Uncanny Valley Also Stares Into You: Posthuman Narratives in The Windup Girl

Like my dear colleague A.M. Lehr below, I also couldn’t help but make the comparison between Paolo Bacigaluipi’s The Windup Girl and E.T.A. Hoffman’s The Sandman… Possibly because of the “uncanny” resemblance in the … Continue reading

Posted in biopolitics, eta hoffman, Gender studies, jacques offenbach, narrative, Novelists, Paolo Bacigalupi, post-human, Science Fiction, technoscience, the sandman, The Windup Girl, uncanny, uncanny valley | Comments Off on When You Stare Into the Uncanny Valley, the Uncanny Valley Also Stares Into You: Posthuman Narratives in The Windup Girl

On Humanized Trauma in Oryx and Crake, or, “Why the Individual Narrative Is So Important”

***This post contains spoilers!  If you are reading this, and you haven’t finished Oryx and Crake, step away from the computer and get back to it!*** I read Oryx and Crake primarily as a novel of trauma, extending past the genocidal crescendo of… Continue reading

Posted in Atwood, biomedicine, biopolitics, disillusion, dystopia, ethics, gender, meaning-making, narrative, narrative structure, Novelists, Oryx and Crake, Science Fiction, subjectivity | Comments Off on On Humanized Trauma in Oryx and Crake, or, “Why the Individual Narrative Is So Important”

Homo Sacer and the State of Exception in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

~”The birth of the camp in our time appears as an event that decisively signals the political space of modernity itself”–Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. In the introduction to Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power a… Continue reading

Posted in bare life, biopolitics, camp, Cary Wolfe, Giorgio Agamben, history of science, Homo Sacer, Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake, sovereignty | Comments Off on Homo Sacer and the State of Exception in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake

Searching for MaddEve: Bare Life, Homo Sacer, and the Problem of Atwood’s Oryx

The labs and factory farms of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake present us with a vertible zoo of zoē ─ a menagerie of bioforms that embody Giorgio Agamben’s concept of “bare life.” During his tour of Watson-Crick’s NeoAgriculturals wing, Continue reading

Posted in Agamben, Atwood, Margaret, bare life, biopolitics, Bride of Frankenstein, ChickieNobs, Gender studies, Homo Sacer, Jimmy, MaddAdam, MaddEve, Oryx and Crake, Science Fiction, Sex trafficking, Snowman, subjectivity | Comments Off on Searching for MaddEve: Bare Life, Homo Sacer, and the Problem of Atwood’s Oryx

The Voice in His Head

One of the recurring features of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake is the voice that keeps speaking in Snowman’s head, a voice whose tone is by turns condescending, instructional, pious, courageous, scolding, childish, and much else. The voice speak… Continue reading

Posted in Atwood, Margaret, biopolitics, Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer, language, Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake, Science Fiction, voice | Comments Off on The Voice in His Head

Suicide and the Sovereignty of the Individual in The Island of Doctor Moreau

In the interest of fostering some continuity between this week’s reading and our pending discussion of H.G. Wells, I am interested in Foucault’s discussion of suicide as a way in which the individual might “usurp the power of death” (139). In T… Continue reading

Posted in biopolitics, Foucault, Galton, H.G. Wells, nineteenth century, Science Fiction, sovereignty, suicide, The Island of Dr. Moreau | Comments Off on Suicide and the Sovereignty of the Individual in The Island of Doctor Moreau

WPATH & The Fantasy of a Transgender “Type”

“As an international interdisciplinary, professional organization, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) will work to further the understanding and treatment of gender identity disorders by professionals in medicine, psych… Continue reading

Posted in biopolitics, Foucault, Galton, gender, Gender studies, History of Sexuality, transgender, WPATH | Comments Off on WPATH & The Fantasy of a Transgender “Type”

De-Sensitizing the Operating Room: Normalizing the “Unnatural” in The Island of Dr. Moreau

I say I became habituated to the Beast People, that a thousand things that had seemed unnatural and repulsive speedily became natural and ordinary to me. (The Island of Dr. Moreau, End of Chapter 15) I used to consider myself a very squeamish person. T… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, 19th Century, 20th Century, biomedicine, biopolitics, disillusion, dystopia, ethics, Ethics of science, H.G. Wells, history of science, role of scientists, Science Fiction, technology, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Visuality | Comments Off on De-Sensitizing the Operating Room: Normalizing the “Unnatural” in The Island of Dr. Moreau

Is Happiness Boring?: The Failure of Utopia and Why Agent Smith Might Be Right About Us.

The problems of a perfect world seem to be a favorite subject with authors of science fiction, and even works styling themselves as utopian seem unable to resist veering toward the dark side of a peaceful society.  Somehow or other, perfection in thes… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, Ana, Baron Lytton, biopolitics, dystopia, Hegel, Novelists, Robot War, Samuel Butler, The Matrix, TV Tropes, utopia | Comments Off on Is Happiness Boring?: The Failure of Utopia and Why Agent Smith Might Be Right About Us.