Soorya Alex is a research scholar at the Department of English, Kannur University, Kerala. Her research focuses on new materialism and posthumanist literature under the supervision of Prof. Kunhammad. She was on tenure as ASPIRE Research Fellow at EFLU, Hyderabad, and has worked as an assistant professor. She has published articles and made presentations at national and international conferences. Her areas of interest include literary and cultural theory, film studies, and contemporary fiction. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Configuring Posthuman Pedagogies in Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl and J. G. Ballard’s Crash
Abstract: This study is a comparative analysis of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, set in Thailand, and J. G. Ballard’s Crash. The paper examines how human interventions in The Windup Girl disrupt the natural world, ecology, space, and nature. It also delves into how humans transform into cybernetic systems in Crash, ultimately ushering in a shift from traditional liberal humanist ideals to a complex posthuman material world. These two novels are approached within the theoretical framework of posthumanism. Specifically, the paper investigates the reconfigurations and transformations of the human body within the realm of cyber-reality. Drawing on the sociology of cyborgs and machine culture, the paper explores the intersection of humanity and technology and its social and cultural implications. Both novels raise crucial questions about how machines reshape the human body and challenge centuries-old anthropocentric perspectives. The paper also integrates the concept of the cyborg as a representation of nonhuman agency, disrupting ontological paradigms in the Anthropocene. As humanity stands at the crossroads between humanism and posthumanism, profound changes in desire, form, and expression are observed, with the human body becoming profoundly intertwined with prosthetic materiality. These novels offer posthuman insights that illuminate the interface where humans and machines merge, giving rise to new posthuman ontologies. Additionally, both novels explore the futures shaped by technological advancements, biotechnology applications, and related innovations.
Keywords: posthumanism, machine culture, cyborg, prosthetics, body politics, techno-culture, agency, object world, Thailand