MHRC discussion group, Anna Mcfarlane, ‘Inequality in Medical Science Fiction’, Glasgow

1-2pm, Wednesday 9th March 2016

Dr. Anna Mcfarlane (School of Critical Studies), ‘Inequality in Medical Science Fiction’

In both literary theory and science fiction studies posthumanism has emerged as an important discourse over the last decade or so. Posthumanism offers tantalising philosophical propositions and seems to open up new possibilities for individual and social organisation by sloughing off humanistic preconceptions and prejudices. Medical progress is often used to illustrate philosophical and popular explanations of the posthuman as it increasingly offers longevity and augmentation, ostensibly illustrating new ways of being beyond the ‘human’. However, this posthuman discourse is rarely grounded in the material, equal availability of such medical advances, an issue which seems in theory to be confined to entirely different spheres; public health, sociology, politics, etc. I will discuss some examples of medical science fiction (including GATTACA [1998], Elysium [2013] and Louise O’Neill’s Only Ever Yours [2014]) in order to show how science fiction attempts to bridge these discourses, combining posthuman concerns with material, political considerations.

Discussant: Professor Jo Sharp (School of Geographical & Earth Sciences)

Directions here.

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