El 681 Post-/Trans-Human Configurations in the Contemporary Novel

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EL 681 Post-/Trans-Human Configurations in the Contemporary Novel

Spring 2015, Özlem Öğüt Yazıcıoğlu

Office Hours: T 12:00 Th 11:00 or by appointment

Office: TB 475 Phone: 6625 E-mail: ozlemogu@boun.edu.tr

Taking as a framework poststructuralist and postmodernist challenges to humanistic conceptualizations of life and the universe, the course focuses on the ways in which selected contemporary novels unsettle the anthropocentric view of the world and its binary, exclusionist and essentialist forms by presenting interrelations and entanglements of human and non-human lives. Drawing on the works by critics such as Ihab Hassan, Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, Katherine Hayles, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben, among others, we will discuss the ecological and technological perspectives from which the concept “human,” as well as the divide between nature and culture, body and soul, human and animal or machine, can be interrogated. We will also explore the affinities between speciesism and racism, sexism, and other discriminatory attitudes as they appear in the selected novels, to find out what they propose in terms of justice and ethics pertaining to human and non-human life forms in a global world.
The list of novels to be read:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K Dick

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K Le Guin

Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter

Pig Tales: A Novel of Lust and Transformation, Marie Darrieussecq

Limit of Vision, Linda Nagata

Fury, Salman Rushdie

Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood

Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

Animal’s People, Indra Sinha

Me, Cheeta, James Lever
Two presentations % 40

(each one 30-40 minutes long; on a novel (% 20 each)

with references to theory and criticism)

Term paper % 25

(20-25 pages; due May 25,

Monday, 4 pm)
Abstract, Bibliography, and Outline % 10

of the Term Paper (to be submitted on May 5)

Active and critical class participation % 25

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