Crises of In/Humanity: Posthumanism, Afrofuturism, and Science and/as Fiction
Everhart, Avery Rose
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis engages black critical thought on the human and its contemporary iterations in posthumanism and transhumanism. It articulates five categories of analysis: displace, interrupt, disrupt, expand, and wither. Each is meant to allude to the generative potential in different iterations of black thought that engages the human. Working through Sylvia Wynter’s theories of the rise of Man-as-human in particular, the project highlights how black thought on the human displaces the uncritical whiteness of posthumanist thought. It argues that Afrofuturism has the potential to interrupt the linear progression from human to posthuman and that Octavia Butler’s Fledgling proffers a narrative of race as a technology that disrupts the presumed post-raciality of posthumanism and transhumanism. It then contends that Katherine McKittrick’s rearticulation of the Promise of Science can be extended to incorporate the promise of science fiction. In so doing, it avers that a more curated conversation between McKittrick and Wynter, one already ongoing, and Octavia Butler, through Mind of My Mind from her Patternist series, expands our notions of the human as a category even at the risk of seeing it wither as a politic or praxis. It ends on a speculative note meant to imagine the possibilities within the promise of science fiction.