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Alien others : speculative hybrids in imaginary worlds

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dc.contributor.author Martini, Chandra
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-12T17:55:40Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-12T17:55:40Z
dc.date.copyright 2012 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-10-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2429/43381
dc.description.abstract Hybridity plays a principal role in both J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion and Octavia E. Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy, crystallizing in the treatment of the origin of species. Through these texts I investigate how the generic condition of speculative fiction (SF), in its claims to unreality, opens up an imaginative space in which to excavate hybridity as a site of tension between the concepts of race and species. I draw on the theoretical constructs of hybridity and posthumanism, particularly as formulated by Robert Young in the first case and Cary Wolfe in the second, to argue that these concepts are fundamentally interdependent in post-Enlightenment Western humanism. Both Young and Wolfe show how a tradition of Western humanism has enabled, justified and managed the oppression of both animal and racial Others by casting them as subhuman. Tolkien’s and Butler’s representations of hybridity are haunted by historical manifestations of this logic; Tolkien’s Half Elves are informed by the threat of the Nazi programme of racial purification, and Butler’s human-alien hybrids recall a legacy of slavery and a contemporary discourse of genetics. By blurring the boundary between race and species, they expose the fact that race and species are always already mutually constituting. Drawing on Butler’s and Tolkien’s texts, I argue the importance of integrating an analysis of race into the efforts begun in posthumanist animal studies to build a more honest and ethical way of thinking through the relationship between our species and others. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of British Columbia en
dc.title Alien others : speculative hybrids in imaginary worlds en_US
dc.type Electronic Thesis or Dissertation en
dc.degree.name Master of Arts - MA en_US
dc.degree.discipline English en_US
dc.degree.grantor University of British Columbia en
dc.date.graduation 2012-11 en_US
dc.degree.campus UBCV en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Graduate en


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