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Being Posthuman


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Improper of the Human Chapter 1: Cyborgs Chapter 2: Animals Chapter 3: Object Fever Chapter 4: Black Being Conclusion: Inhuman Posthumanism

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Zahi Zalloua examines four posthuman figures- cyborgs, animals, objects, and racialized others - and the pressure they exert on the "human," to trouble its individualism and privilege, its metaphysical foundations and the ideology of human 'exceptionalism'.

About the Author

Zahi Zalloua is Cushing Eells Professor of Philosophy and Literature and Professor of French and Interdisciplinary Studies at Whitman College and editor of The Comparatist. His research interests include literary theory, interdisciplinary approaches to philosophy and literature, experimental fiction, and gender studies. He is the author of Zizek on Race: Toward an Anti-Racist Future (Bloomsbury, 2020).


Traversing the history of philosophy, Zahi Zalloua brilliantly shows the ethical urgency of an inhuman posthumanism that attends to those who reside in the neighborhood of the human but are never fully at home there. Engaging with philosophy, film, and literature, Zalloua articulates the ways in which the cyborg, animal, object and racialized other put pressure on the concept of the human. Along the way, Zalloua powerfully demonstrates the importance of both continental philosophy and psychoanalysis to developing a notion of the posthuman. * Kelly Oliver, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, USA *
Zahi Zalloua's Being Posthuman: Ontologies of the Future is an excellent intervention into debates over posthumanism and the new materialisms, bringing not only a solid critique based on the "dialectical-materialist" wing of Lacanian psychoanalysis (the Slovenian school avec such American critics as Todd McGowan and Joan Copjec) but also an anti-colonial and anti-racist reading grounded both in Palestinian struggles and Black Studies. In addition, his cultural examples, from Black Mirror to J.M. Coetzee, Sorry to Bother You to Waltz with Bashir, and engagements with theorists from Haraway to Latour, Derrida to Moten, demonstrate how cultural studies today can challenge theoretical orthodoxies via the most up-to-date in contemporary literature and cinema. Buy this book, read it, and then burn the system down! * Clint Burnham, Professor of English and Chair of Graduate Program, Simon Fraser University, Canada *
Being Posthuman: Ontologies of the Future offers a rigorous, imaginative, and path-breaking analysis of posthumanism and rethinks 'being' without humanist (and metaphysical) fantasies of perfection, properness, exceptionalism, hierarchy, anthropocentricism, and the One. By foregrounding the "inhuman," as the extimate and constitutive core of the (post)human, Zahi Zalloua avoids the philosophical narcissism of transhumanism, the pitfalls of new materialism, and the racial blind spots of object-oriented ontology. Through psychoanalytic readings of cyborgs, animals, objects, and racialized others, Being Posthuman presents a new vision of life in a world compounded by global capital, anti-blackness, and climate change-a life improper, non-all, incomplete, fugitive, and fluid. This is truly a remarkable and substantial work. * Calvin Warren, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Emory University, USA *

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