Boller, Alessandra

Rethinking 'the Human' in Dystopian Times

Modified Bodies and the Re-/Deconstruction of Human Exceptionalism in Margaret Atwood's "MaddAddam" Trilogy and Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go"

At least since the turn of the 21st century, dystopian fiction flourishes once again. Contemporary narratives often ponder the threat posed by hierarchies and humanist concepts and critically reflect on an ideology which has to be overcome in times of rapid (biotechnological) progress, political instability, the loss of species diversity, the widening gap between rich and poor, climate change, glocal (ecological) crises, a crisis of 'the human' and similar challenges. Through their engagement with critical posthumanism and the imaginative creation of posthuman beings that defy clear-cut boundaries, biotechnological dystopias often facilitate a less discriminatory world view by revealing and questioning the ideologically motivated amalgamation of non/post/human bodies not conceded personhood. Situated at the intersection point of biotechnological, philosophical, (bio)ethical, literary and cultural discourses, Rethinking 'the Human' in Dystopian Times argues for a politics of inclusion and discloses how new viewpoints springing from dystopian extrapolations can allow for a more critical view on human exceptionalism. Alessandra Boller points out how especially Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go challenge the ethics of an established (western) human value system, intertwined demarcation strategies based on race, class, gender or species, and the humanist concept of 'the human.'


ISBN 978-3-86821-753-7, 322 S., kt., 36,50 (2018)

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