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POSTHUMAN EMBODIMENT AND QUEER IDENTITY IN FRANKISSSTEIN AND THE LIFECYCLE OF SOFTWARE OBJECTS
Published On: 01/11/2022
PratyashaPratyasha,Independent researcher,Independent



The queer body contains multiple identities which cannot be limited to fixed identity markers and binary opposites. The humanist privileging of the mind has seeped into postmodernist discourses and cybernetic theories which see the body being constructed through discourse and information being separable from embodiment, respectively. This paper will analyse Jeanette Winterson’s novel Frankissstein and Ted Chiang’s novella “The Lifecycle of Software Objects” to understand the role of embodiment in the conceptualization of queer identity. It will argue that Hayles's posthumanist theorization of embodiment in informatics can not only encapsulate the plurality of the queer identity but also draw the focus on the body in queer theorizations. It will also look at the discourses around sex robots to understand the complications of sexual identity, acceptable sexual behavior, and consent.


The Digital Gaze: Anthropomorphic Reflections of the Future Posthuman Reality
Published On: 01/11/2022
Joshua NieubuurtJoshua Nieubuurt,PhD Student,Old Dominion University



The human world continues to be ever more entangled with the nebulous realms of the digital. The digital lives of humans are constantly viewed, analyzed, and organized by the use of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) as tools of governments, institutions, and corporations. Digital-machines are able to harvest massive swaths of data from users the world over including discursive elements and biometrics; accumulating the essences of what it means to dwell in a digital world. Although such digital-machines, and the algorithms on which they operate, are becoming more and more complex, they are still viewed as a tool with what Martin Heidegger deemed a "readiness-to-hand" type of Being. By reconsidering the subject-object paradigm, the potential for digital-machines to be subjects in and of themselves open the doors for questions relating to the existence of non-human digital-machine-Beings. One such question is that of what the digital-machine actually "sees." This act of the digital-machine "seeing" is deemed the Machine Gaze. Therefore thinking through what the digital-machine may "see" and contemplating how contemporary framing of it within the bounds of "readiness-to-hand" offers new and exciting perspectives on future human and digital-machine interaction. Furthermore, this effort considers the role of anthropocentrism in the way in which the Machine Gaze has encountered data as a primary factor in how digital-machines will view and act in the world of Being. This is important because such Posthumanist thinking (or a lack thereof) may affect how the digital-machine dwells in the world, iterates itself, and reframes Being for itself and for humans.


QUESTIONING BODY –SOUL – HEART: AN ANALYSIS OF SELECTED ANIMATION MOVIES FROM POSTHUMAN PERSPECTIVES ANIMATION MOVIES
Published On: 01/11/2022
Dibyendu BhattacharyayDibyendu Bhattacharyay,State Aided College Teacher,Balagarh Bijoy Krishna Mahavidyalaya



Beside Science-fiction movies, animations are sometimes best explorer of a world that is not only human-centric. This paper shall address three animation movies - Zootopia (2016), Soul (2020) and Luca (2021) from Posthuman perspective. Zootopia (2016), is the story of a cop named Judy Hopps, who is actually a rabbit and her experiences in solving a kidnap case. The movie enthralls us with an anthropomorphic world where the non-human biological beings, asks this question whether they are different from humans in their actions. In Soul (2020), a pianist dies abruptly and reaches the Great Beyond – a place where souls meet their ending – but somehow manages to get an opportunity to come back to Earth. With a mistake, his soul gets stuck inside the body of a cat. Outside his own body, Joe gets an opportunity to differently look at the surroundings and understands how to lead a happy life. Luca (2021) Paguro is a sea-monster and disobeying his parents’ advice, comes to the shore with a friend and discovers how he transforms from a monster into a human being as he wipes off the water from his body. Both of them mingle in the human world and compete in a race to win a Vespa scooter. The story takes a different turn when people discover their true identity and their action ultimately ends the human – monster enmity from that land forever. These three movies altogether question the Posthuman possibilities in this universe through three themes – absence of a body, the transformation of a soul and the incorporation of the non-human in the world we live in.


CONSTITUTIVE DEHISCENCE AND RUPTURED IDENTITY OF THE ‘SELF’ AND THE ‘OTHER’ – A POSTHUMANIST READING OF COETZEE’S FOE
Published On: 01/11/2022
Dr Sujato GhoshDr Sujato Ghosh,Assistant Professor,Department of English, Belda College



Any humanist account of historical transformation is unreliable. Our past, our principles and our beliefs cannot be assessed and interrogated by such accounts. Posthumanist philosophy cannot be contained within a particular timeframe be it before we became ‘human’ or even ‘after’. The reception of the ‘Other’ that reflects the ‘Self’ is one such strand of posthumanist philosophy that Coetzee’s Foe interrogates. It expresses the concept of the ‘human’ in the light of posthuman theory. Characters like Friday in Foe become the undesirable picture of the crux of European Illumination; he becomes the symbol of the ‘Other’, the bestial, the innate. His inability to speak due to his mutilations and scars separates him and reduce his prominence as an object and debars him from entering into history. People like Friday are denied the benefits of verbal expression and therefore an insight into their life experiences is always inaccessible. The way his tongue has been separated from him ensures that he never comes to engage with people who easily make their way into metanarratives. Friday’s cut off tongue also engages us with the possibility of rendering him as symbolical of the impossibility of verbal communication. Nonsubjects like Friday stand for the failure of history to become impartial and comprehensive and get rid of the false glorification of the ‘humans’ in the center. The white petals carefully released by Friday into the waters are the ones that history may have searched forever to authenticate its narratives but has failed to acquire. ‘Humans’ must learn to co-exist and accept the ‘Other’ to stay in the center.


Saadat Hasan Manto and his ‘Charged’ Stories
Published On: 30/06/2022
SAHEB KAURSAHEB KAUR,Doctoral Fellow,University of Delhi



The cultural conditioning and praxis that narrate, maintain and solidify the oppressions of the female body, nurtures morality to keep the oppressions alive and continuous. The female bodies exhibited in Manto’s stories examine these oppressions and body narratives as cultural, seemingly, making Manto question the very paradigm of culture. Who defines it? Those that are a part of it or those who distort and bind it in the name of religion, tradition and morality. Therefore, this paper aims to exhibit the idea of obscenity as a part of cultural hegemony with censorship as a means to quieten certain expressions that reflect the bitter truth of society as it is. The paper shall investigate how the body politic elaborates in the texts, as a site of lineage and identity, which is eventually dismantled as a site of socio-political and legal victimization. The objective of the paper is to highlight the nuances of exposition of realities, through Manto’s stories, which otherwise stay veiled in the society and are maintained so through culture.


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