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Jennifer Henke

Abstract

This article discusses the role of the body in Alex Garland’s film Ex Machina (2015). It focuses on Ava’s female cyborg body against the backdrop of both classic post-humanist theories and current reflections from scholars in the field of body studies. I argue that Ex Machina addresses but also transcends questions of gender and feminism. It stresses the importance of the body for social interaction both in the virtual as well as the real world. Ava’s lack of humanity results from her mind that is derived from the digital network Blue Book in which disembodied communication dominates. Moreover, the particular construction of Nathan’s progeny demonstrates his longing for a docile sex toy since he created Ava with fully functional genitals but without morals. Ex Machina further exhibits various network metaphors both on the visual and the audio level that contribute to the (re)acknowledgement that we need a body in order to be human.

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Emily Horton

Abstract

In the context of twenty-first century global conservatism, where anti-immigrant sentiment is everywhere apparent, the importance of Ishiguro’s writing arguably lies in its on-going challenge to this perspective’s faulty logic and its capacity to reveal the radical violence behind nationalist political attacks on minority and immigrant populations. In this article I explore this challenge explicitly through a politically-oriented reading of The Remains of the Day (1989), highlighting this novel’s joint critique of Thatcherite nationalism and late twentieth century global entrepreneurialism. While this focus obviously represents a response to an earlier socio-political moment, defined by its own unique amalgam of ideological anxieties, nevertheless what emerges most prominently through this reading is the novel’s topical condemnation of cultural essentialism and its attendant hierarchies, concerns which remain of utmost critical significance within the twenty-first century. Thus, by making this assessment explicit, highlighting British conservatism’s devastating psychological and material implications for affected individuals, ranging from repressed and traumatised psychologies to radical economic precarity, this novel can be seen to register Thatcherite prejudice in a poignantly relevant manner. Indeed, the pseudo-respect granted to the ‘genuine old-fashioned English butler’ in this novel might also be seen as comparable to Trump’s pseudo-populism or Brexit nostalgia, both of which likewise ignore the pressing reality of imperialism’s historical violence.

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Ladislav Nagy

Abstract

This article deals with novels by Lawrence Norfolk which are read with a focus on their visual quality and the way they depict history. It is argued that Norfolk’s historical novels are unique in their portrayal of “landscapes of history”, large canvases in which individual characters play marginal, or a rather insignificant role. This approach distinguishes Norfolk from much of contemporary historical fiction, albeit at times this strategy might not be wholly satisfactory from a critical perspective. However, the article claims that Norfolk’s novels are intellectually inspiring since, similar to landscape, they invite a certain gaze, yet deny us the possibility of naming, of conceptualising. They provide readers with impressive vistas on history, which is seen as something too large to understand and penetrate. In this the novels are anti-humanistic. Individual characters (and their actions) are insignificant, or significant only to such an extent that they subscribe to some mythical framework, as Norfolk shows in, arguably, his best novel, In the Shape of a Boar (2000).

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Ching-Huan Lin

. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2001. 249-75. Ledent, Bénédicte. “The “Aesthetics of Personalism” in Caryl Phillips’s Writing: Complexity as a New Brand of Humanism.” World Literature Written in English 39.1 (2001): 75-85. Levinas, Emmanuel. The Levinas Reader . Ed. Seán Hand. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989. McLeod, John. “‘Between Two Waves’: Caryl Phillips and Black Britain.” Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings 7 (2007): 9-19. McLeod, John. “Diaspora and Utopia: Reading the Recent Work of Paul Gilroy and Caryl Phillips.” Diasporic

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Yasser Fouad Selim

Kentucky, 1995. “MIT Global Shakespeares: Arab World.” MIT Global Shakespeares. 2 October 2017 < http://globalshakespeares.mit.edu/# > McClinton, Brian. “Humanism in the Renaissance.” Humani 98 (March 2006):10-16. Shakespeare, William. King Lear . Shakespeare Online. 25 May 2017. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/learscenes.html > “William Shakespeare.” IMDb. 2 October 2017 < http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000636/ >

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Anca-Luminiţa Iancu

. Transcultural Imaginings: Translating the Other, Translating the Self in Narratives about Migration and Terrorism . Sofia: KX: Critique and Humanism, 2016. Gray, Jeffrey. “Essence and the Mulatto Traveler: Europe as Embodiment in Nella Larsen’s ‘Quicksand’.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction 27.3 (Spring 1994): 257-270. Harrison-Kahan, Lori. “‘Drunk with the Fiery Rhythms of Jazz’: Anzia Yezierska, Hybridity, and the Harlem Renaissance.” Modern Fiction Studies 51.2 (2005): 416-436. Hart, Betty L., and Anna A. Moore. “Nella Larsen.” American Ethnic Writers . Rev