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Microbial Gothic in the Anthropocene
Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för konst och humaniora (FKH), Institutionen för språk (SPR). (Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)ORCID-id: 0000-0003-3293-6324
2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: The 14th International Gothic Association Conference Hosted by the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies Manchester, July 31st-August 3rd, 2018: Gothic Hybridities : Interdisciplinary, Multimodal and Transhistorical Approaches, 2018Konferensbidrag, Enbart muntlig presentation (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

In a recent article, postcolonial critic Dipesh Chakrabarty interrogates Kantian anthropocentrism by noting that human existence – the ecosystem as well as the human species as such – originates from microbial life. Microbes are in fact still the planet’s dominant life form, outnumbering and even outweighing, in the words of Martin J Blaser, “all the mice, whales, humans, birds, insects, worms, and trees combined—indeed all the visible life-forms we are familiar with on Earth” (13). As such, microbes are absolutely essential to the survival of the planet, but also the most vulnerable to human ecological intervention in the form of pollution, global warming, or the introduction of antibiotics into the ecosystem. Yet, viruses, bacteria and microscopic fungi are, to the extent that they are discussed and represented at all, almost invariably perceived as a threat to human existence. Chakraberty thus asks “Could we ever be in a position to value the existence of viruses and bacteria hostile to us, except insofar as they influence—negatively or positively—our lives?” (390).

This paper seeks to answer this crucial question in relation to Gothic and Horror representations of the encounter between humanity and microbial life. The paper first notes that Gothic and Horror typically tell stories where microbes transform humans into raging, undead carnivores. The paper then investigates a series of narratives that make use of this trope but that employ it to enable a different understanding of microbial existence and agency. With particular focus on J M Carey’s The Girl with all the Gifts (2014) and its sequel The Boy on the Bridge (2017), the paper argues that Gothic is in fact capable of critiquing the anthropocentric perspective to value even the existence of microbial life seemingly hostile to humanity.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2018.
Nyckelord [en]
Gothic, Microbes
Nationell ämneskategori
Litteraturstudier
Forskningsämne
Humaniora, Engelska med litteraturvetenskaplig inriktning
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-80069OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-80069DiVA, id: diva2:1284079
Konferens
The 14th International Gothic Association Conference Hosted by the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies Manchester, July 31st-August 3rd, 2018 : Gothic Hybridities : Interdisciplinary, Multimodal and Transhistorical Approaches
Tillgänglig från: 2019-01-30 Skapad: 2019-01-30 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-06-25Bibliografiskt granskad

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Höglund, Johan

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Totalt: 309 träffar
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