By Neil Badmington
Alien Chic presents a cultural heritage of the alien because the Nineteen Fifties, asking ourselves why our attitudes to extraterrestrial beings have shifted from worry to affection, and what this may let us know approximately how we now see ourselves and others.
Neil Badmington explores our courting with extraterrestrial beings, inscribed in movies akin to The conflict of the Worlds, Mars Attacks!, Mission to Mars and Independence Day; and the way thinkers corresponding to Descartes, Barthes, Freud, Lyotard and Derrida have conceptualised what it skill to be human (and post-human).
Alien Chic examines the the idea that of posthumanism in an age while the strains among what's human and what's non-human are more and more blurred via advances in technological know-how and know-how, for instance genetic cloning and engineering, and the improvement of AI and cyborgs.
Questioning no matter if our present embracing of all issues 'alien' - within the type of extraterrestrial instruments or abduction narratives, for example - stems from a wish to reaffirm ourselves as 'human', this can be an unique and thought-provoking contribution to the examine of posthumanism.
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Additional info for Alien Chic: Posthumanism and the Other Within
Robert Wise, 1951), an alien invasion film of the period. The past is on screen, visibly present. Building upon these early moments, the film proceeds to approach extraterrestrials, in short, ‘like it’s the 1950s’. This dependence upon the invasion narratives of the past is, I think, more straightforward than Vivian Sobchack believes. ‘In Independence Day’, she argues: alien flying saucers blow up the White House and the Empire State Building, visibly reducing the USA’s major cities to rubble. Nonetheless, while there is panic in the streets, there is no Cold War fear and anxiety here to inform and historically ground it—merely cinematic nostalgia and the imperatives of the latest special effects.
Earth has been devastated by overpopulation and ecological neglect, and a new home is needed for the human race. Algae samples have already been sent to the surface of Mars, but their initial success at producing oxygen is now overshadowed by doubt. A team is sent to investigate. ’ While the exploration of the planet is extremely difficult and dangerous—all but one of the landing party is eventually killed—the threat has nothing to do with Martians, and little to do with the terrain itself. There are no rampaging Martians to be found on Mars, and the famously hostile climate is, even when it produces an ice storm, fairly amenable to human existence.
Foucault, Derrida insists, has not read Descartes closely enough. But while this aspect of Derrida’s text is something of a tour de force, I am more interested here in the opening pages, where Foucault’s general approach to the issue of insanity is called 44 IT LIVES into question. ‘In writing a history of madness’, Derrida begins: Foucault has attempted—and this is the greatest merit, but also the very infeasibility of his book—to write a history of madness itself. Itself. Of madness itself. That is, by letting madness speak for itself.
Alien Chic: Posthumanism and the Other Within by Neil Badmington
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