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Posthuman Noir: Creating Positive Posthumans

Gee, Maxine F (2017) Posthuman Noir: Creating Positive Posthumans. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Maxine Gee - Posthuman Noir Creating Positive Posthumans - PhD Thesis 2017.pdf - Examined Thesis (PDF)
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Abstract

Posthuman noir is a new subgenre I have identified at the intersection of posthuman science fiction and traditional film noir. In this thesis, I establish the defining features of this new subgenre; explore its antecedents in the body of films labelled as film noir and in the philosophical concepts of transhumanism and posthumanism; and examine the way the subgenre privileges two human traits — emotional awakening and storytelling ability — arguing that these intangible traits act as essential definers of what it is to be human in the posthuman future. In this thesis, I argue that this subgenre explores what it is to be human through adapting or subverting the tropes found in traditional film noir. My creative practice methodology seeks to explore a non-hierarchical approach to knowledge production, through chapters which interlink academic scholarship with my creative practice of screenwriting. Through figuring the screenplay as a posthuman text evolving towards becoming-film, and through channelling myself as a cyborg-screenwriter, my creative practice — an expression of the human storytelling ability which aims to generate an emotional awakening in the reader — aims to mirror the themes around these essential human traits within the subgenre. Therefore, the reader is encouraged to engage both their emotional and rational thinking processes when reading the thesis; it is this balanced combination, which reflects human thought processes, that is validated within the subgenre. It is particularly pertinent to discuss this subgenre at this present moment as human beings are on a rapid path to becoming posthuman, if we aren’t already there, as critics like N. Katherine Hayles argue. However, I posit that this subgenre has a conservative impulse which seeks to maintain an anthropocentric view of the future and validates humanistic notions of the human rather than pushing a posthumanist vision.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Posthuman, Film Noir, Screenwriting, Creative Practice, Anime
Academic Units: The University of York > Theatre, Film & Television (York)
Depositing User: Dr Maxine F Gee
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2018 13:34
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2018 13:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19684

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