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Annihilating the Cartesian Divide: Finding the Inhuman in Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As posthumanist discourse attempts reposition the human as one of many subjects in relation to ecologies and other inhuman agencies, doing away with a Cartesian human exceptionalism is one of the key problems. From Haraway’s naturecultures, positing human culture as one of many, to Colebrook’s discussions of inhuman agencies, what ‘the human’ means to us is the heart of this theoretical field. In this paper I engage with theories within the discourse and posit them against a dialogue with Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, as well as with the ideas of George Bataille on how the human separated herself from other animals and in doing so created what we call Humanity. The aim is to find inhuman agencies and bring to light how they act upon the human, but also how perceiving the inhuman is, as Bataille writes, closed to us. What we find through a process and concept of annihilation of Humanity with the human, brought forth from a reading of the Biologist’s relation to the lighthouse and the tower in the novel, is that even though we may be able to perceive the inhuman, we might be always already anthropocentric in this perception. I suggest a reversal of Haraway’s term; culturenatures, as a way to understand this anthropocentric perception, in that just as our culture is borne from nature, other naturecultures are closed to us.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 19
Keywords [en]
Annihilation, Bataille, Colebrook, Descartes, inhuman, natureculture, posthumanism
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169642OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169642DiVA, id: diva2:1323464
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Available from: 2019-06-18 Created: 2019-06-12 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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