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Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Posthuman Capital and Biotechnology in Contemporary Novels

Authors: Johnston, Justin Omar

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  • Redefines posthumanism via neoliberal and human capital theories
  • Considers the interdependent relationship between genres of dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature
  • Explores the political, economic, and scientific narratives of the biotech century
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eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26257-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26256-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book examines several distinctive literary figurations of posthuman embodiment as they proliferate across a range of internationally acclaimed contemporary novels: clones in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, animal-human hybrids in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, toxic bodies in Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People, and cyborgs in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods. While these works explore the transformational power of the “biotech century,” they also foreground the key role human capital theory has played in framing human belonging as an aspirational category that is always and structurally just out of reach, making contemporary subjects never-human-enough. In these novels, the dystopian character of human capital theory is linked to fantasies of apocalyptic release. As such, these novels help expose how two interconnected genres of futurity (the dystopian and the apocalyptic) work in tandem to propel each other forward so that fears of global disaster become alibis for dystopian control, which, in turn, becomes the predicate for intensifying catastrophes. In analyzing these novels, Justin Omar Johnston draws attention to the entanglement of bodies in technological environments, economic networks, and deteriorating ecological settings. 


About the authors

Justin Omar Johnston is Assistant Professor in the English Department at Stony Brook University, USA, where he teaches classes on contemporary and Anglophone novels, Science and Literature, and biopolitics. He is an organizing member of the New Environmentalisms seminar and the Wicked Problems podcast series. His work has appeared in Twentieth-Century Literature, Diesis, and Masculinities.


Reviews

“Johnston’s book is rich with compelling insights and brings to bear gracefully a range of theoretical frames. Johnston is a clear, astute thinker, and moves elegantly through a series of cogently linked insights about the potentials and limits of biotechnology, drawing on novels by Ishiguro, Atwood, Sinha, and Winterson and their treatment of the post-human.” (Stephanie Browner, Professor of Literary Studies, The New School, USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26257-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26256-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Posthuman Capital and Biotechnology in Contemporary Novels
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-26257-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-26257-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-26256-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 187
Number of Illustrations
6 b/w illustrations
Topics