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“I’d Rather Be A Cyborg”: Posthuman and Feminist Approaches to Literary Conceptions of Bodies

deadline for submissions:
September 30, 2018

full name / name of organization:
NeMLA 2019

contact email:


Washington D.C.

March 19-23

From Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg” to Rosie Bradiotti’s “Vitruvian woman,” posthuman studies and feminist studies have both used images of the female body as tangible metaphors in order to disrupt and critique boundaries and binaries. This roundtable will explore 20th and 21st century literature that illuminates the entanglement and correspondence between posthuman and feminist discourses, specifically in the notion of the female or post-gender body.

Papers for this roundtable are invited to reflect the following questions through literary readings:

What are the conceptual premises for the modern female body and how are they challenged in literary narratives? how do bodily metaphors mobilize, catalyze, or destroy identity? What does it mean to integrate female (or any body) with technology? What trends, novel methods, gaps, or fallbacks are present as posthuman and feminist theories converge? How are bodies shown as political agents through posthuman approaches, particularly in relation to nonhuman figures? Further, how do narrative strategies of the body translate across media or time periods compare or contrast?

Possible approaches include, but are not limited to:

-Evocations and portrayals of the bodies as metaphors in literature

-Hybridity and crossing boundaries

-Processes of inclusivity and exclusivity

– Conceptualizations (or re-conceptualizations) of agency

– Implications of gender and performativity

– Gendered Space and Binaries

– Comparing literary to media representations

– Implications of embodiment (animal bodies, dead bodies, and techne-bodies)

– Adaptations of bodies

– Transhumanism

– Narratives of Post-gender

Session Format: 3-8 participants give brief, informal presentations (8-10 minutes) and the session is open to conversation and debate between participants and the audience.

Sumbit Abstracts for NeMLA 50th anniversary convention here:

Contact Forrest Johnson (York University)