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A Zombie Manifesto: The Nonhuman Condition in the Era of Advanced Capitalism

This essay purports to expose and elucidate what the authors see as a fundamental tension in posthuman theory—one that is clearly evident in the work of Donna Haraway and in the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, but may be more vehemently declared here: that capitalism and posthumanism are fundamentally opposed and that posthumanism will be realized only after the death knell of capitalism has sounded. But this manifesto, though its title alludes to Marx and Engel’s Communist Manifesto as much as to Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto,” is not heralding the end either of capitalism or humanism; rather, the authors’ figuration of the zombie illustrates an ironic contradiction that cannot be overlooked: the inauguration of posthumanism means the end of consciousness as we know it. In some respects, the authors suggest that posthumanism’s intellectual moment may have passed, and that this is a foray into a theory that is post-posthumanism. Primarily, the zombie is exhibited as an apparatus that can help us think through the social limits that define and stratify humanity. The zombie is a paralyzed dialectic that illustrates, from its historical origins tied to the Haitian Revolution to modern-day characterizations of individuals like Terri Schiavo as “zombies,” the way that subjectivity is fixed by counterpoint. Yet the tropic device of the zombie also allows us to understand how we might become postdialectical as well: for the zombie is also a border crasher—a transgressive rebel whose metaphoric potential delivers on some of the cyborg’s promises. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png boundary 2: an international journal of literature and culture Duke University Press

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