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Beyond Human: Escaping the Maze of Anthropocentrism in Peter Dickinson’s Eva
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8894-6911
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Education, Language, and Teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8813-5721
2015 (English)In: Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature, ISSN 0006-7377, E-ISSN 1918-6983, Vol. 53, no 1, p. 38-51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Images of human-animal-machine mergers – “cyborgs” in Donna Haraway’s terminology – are ways of exploring the human/non-human dichotomy and embracing non-human features as empowering: the cyborg supposedly enables humans to achieve their full potential by going beyond anthropocentric boundaries. Alternatively, the cyborg may not result in the empowerment of humans; on the contrary, it may lead to the complete loss of humanity. This article examines the interior conflict of the cyborg-protagonist in Peter Dickinson’s Eva (1988). Eva is subjected to life-saving experimental surgery during which her mind is transplanted into the body of a chimpanzee, and speak only by using a keyboard. Eva-the-cyborg explores the limits of human identity. Although she is expected to move beyond her human identity, perspective and body, Eva rejects these assumptions. Drawing on Judith Halberstam’s notion of “queer failure” (2011), this article argues that Eva’s failure to achieve a balance between her human and non-human selves is a creative act which defeats humankind’s daring attempt to control the universe using scientific and technological achievements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 53, no 1, p. 38-51
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
English, Specialization in Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-3297Local ID: 11ad2470-59ef-47a6-8cb2-15f32a3c60feOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-3297DiVA, id: diva2:976154
Note
Validerad; 2015; Nivå 1; 20141205 (lydkok)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-04-30Bibliographically approved

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Yarova, AlionaKokkola, Lydia

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