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Title: Cyborgs and avatars in posthuman young adult fiction
Authors: Webb, Maria
Keywords: Young adult fiction
Dystopias in literature
Cyborgs in literature
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Webb, M. (2019). Cyborgs and avatars in posthuman young adult fiction (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: This dissertation questions how the technologically mediated body in recent young adult dystopian fiction may provide an alternative to the hegemonic discourse of the female body. The first chapter serves as an outline of critical posthumanism as a deconstruction of humanist dichotomies and establishes dystopian young adult fiction’s didacticism and challenging of hierarchies. This genre, therefore, renders itself particularly amenable to posthuman theory. The second chapter outlines how the deconstruction of the mind/body dualism is particularly relevant to feminism due to the female’s relegation to the inferior realm of the body, as opposed to the superior realm of the mind. Donna Haraway’s cyborg figures and Katherine Hayles’s theories on embodiment are considered as challenges to this dualism. The third chapter explores the material conception of the posthuman body by close reading Marissa Meyer’s Cinder with reference to Haraway. This is in order to question whether Cinder’s cyborgian body disrupts the femininity the Perrault-Grimm-Disney Cinderella exudes. The fourth chapter explores the virtual conception of the posthuman body, which is the avatar, by close reading Cory Doctorow’s ‘Anda’s Game’ with reference to Hayles. This is in order to question whether Anda’s ties between her obese corporeal body and her active and fit avatar disrupt the discourse surrounding the female body, particularly in relation to being a girl gamer. Ultimately, this dissertation suggests that there may be a trend within recent young adult dystopian fiction where technology is being depicted to have the liberatory potential to offer alternatives to the discourses which ascribe women’s bodies.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2019
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2019

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