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Affective Materiality: Latin American Science Fiction at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century


This dissertation explores diverse shapes of the future as represented in literary production at the turn of the century—from the late 1980s to the present day—through examining the science fiction (sf) of Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. I focus primarily on materiality as an actor and on the agency of things in dialogue with human society through an investigation of the material and cultural productions of sf texts by further scrutinizing the impact of new networking technology. While analyzing the absence and presence of material culture and technological ecology in the selected texts, I work to identify the unique shades and textures of Latin American sf at the turn of the century. Ruins, wastes, rusty machines, decaying cans, broken robots, suffering humans, and wounded cities populate the dystopian and (post)apocalyptic societies represented in the fictional works that form the center of this analysis. Those things, whether they be man-made or nature-made that survive amidst the aftermath of humanity’s extinction, precisely (re)present the present society’s crises and anxieties as it faces rapidly changing social and physical environments. I seek to come to terms with posthumanism by developing conversations founded in the “materialist turn” or “nonhuman turn” that urges a reorientation towards a material reality. These philosophical approaches allow me to grasp new perspectives to examine the speculative reality of Latin America, specifically Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. This dissertation is divided into three chapters based on the selected authors’ nationalities and works. The first part of each chapter looks at dystopian and apocalyptic tropes found throughout the various sf works, while the second part centers on sf texts that depict new technologies alongside their concomitant social, political, and material consequences. Although I split the chapters by theme, this structure also coincides with the chronological order of the ontological and epistemological transformations that occurred at the turn of the century.




@natacha wrote:

@natacha, @stefanie_wu, @lynda

Related Concepts

  • Agency : capacity of action in a context for everyone
  • Minorized : differs from marginalized (Rosi Braidotti) in the sense that it’s always imposed from outside on a group that is not necessarily marginal (e.g., women).
  • Intra-Action : a completely relational perspective, from Karen Barad. We put it in the Solidarity topic because it supports the idea of the creation of a transindividual entity from our collective work on THX.

It would put forward our activity with development of technology … engagement.


  1. First wave -> right to vote for women
  2. Second wave -> control of own body / marriage (violence, rape), paid work
  3. Third wave -> deconstruction of gender and sex / queer theory
  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Monique Wittig, Luce Irigaray
  • Audre Lorde
  • bell hooks
  • Judith Butler
  • Silvia Federici
  • Rosi Braidotti

Elsa Dorlin, Se défendre, une philosophie de la violence

She traces a genealogy of violence from the perspective of minorized people. She studies the manner of legitimation of violence through legislation. From Middle Ages until now, she demonstrates the progression of legitimation of violence and the impacts it produces on embodied reflexes.

In the MA, each person is a creature of God and has the agency to defend herself. From the physical difference of the bodies of men and women, the notion of “natural inferiority” of women was created: the woman’s body is open, liquid, unstable; this model becomes the model to explain that “naturally”, indigenous are inferior to the colonizers. The objectivation of this “natural” differences allowed to legitimize violence: some bodies are “naturally” more qualified to receive care than other “inferior” bodies.

Dorlin makes us go through oppressed groups from the Warsaw gettho, to the Sufragettes, to Black America, etc. From a historical point of view this legitimation of violence was institutionalized into law, showing that now this phenomenon reached massively to most of the population; the problem as such is internalized in people’s behavior, and she observes, specifically that this common phenomenom prevents reproduction of self-agency: for the oppressed person, it’s the body that commands to either not act, or to react according to the oppressor’s will, to the point that the only remaining place left for this body to be free and alive is dreams. In order to avoid being harmed by the oppressor, one conforms to the expected mode of existence imposed by the oppressor: this reflex is a treason made to one’s own vital force, and this feeling creates guilt that the problems are internalized; the oppressed learns the best possible the oppressor in order to dodge the violence, the time of attention, of thought, of invention of creativity, etc. is dedicated to the aggressor, who then can confirm their own bias, legitimate violence, take care of themselves better: reinforcing the vicious circle.

In this argumentation, she shows how when you’re suffering from the violence of power, the first reflex is to care for yourself, self-attention and subjectivity, regaining self-confidence, to pull oneself together and fight back.

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De Conscience De La Genetique Au Posthumanisme Jean Francois

De Conscience De La Genetique Au Posthumanisme Jean Francois

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