By Neil Badmington
Alien Chic offers a cultural historical past of the alien because the Nineteen Fifties, asking ourselves why our attitudes to extraterrestrial beings have shifted from worry to affection, and what this may let us know approximately how we now see ourselves and others.
Neil Badmington explores our courting with extraterrestrial beings, inscribed in movies comparable to The conflict of the Worlds, Mars Attacks!, Mission to Mars and Independence Day; and the way thinkers similar to Descartes, Barthes, Freud, Lyotard and Derrida have conceptualised what it potential to be human (and post-human).
Alien Chic examines the the idea that of posthumanism in an age while the strains among what's human and what's non-human are more and more blurred by way of advances in technological know-how and expertise, for instance genetic cloning and engineering, and the advance of AI and cyborgs.
Questioning no matter if our present embracing of all issues 'alien' - within the kind of extraterrestrial contraptions or abduction narratives, for example - stems from a wish to reaffirm ourselves as 'human', this can be an unique and thought-provoking contribution to the research of posthumanism.
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Additional resources for Alien Chic: Posthumanism and the Other Within
Like, to return to my point of departure, Invasion of the Body Snatchers—strikes contemporary audiences as amusing is that its scenarios are now eccentric, outdated, alien. Times have changed, and meanings with them. And if the simple formula of ‘Us versus Them’ is no longer entirely credible, perhaps a new approach is required. , in fact, two films with similar storylines challenged in a more direct manner the meaning of Mars found in the films of the 1950s. In Red Planet and Mission to Mars, there is absolutely no sign of the terrestrial invasion that had driven texts like The War of the Worlds, Invaders from Mars, and It!
For Marx, which first appeared three years after Lévi-Strauss’s book, contained a bold essay entitled ‘Marxism and humanism’, in which anthropocentric interpretations of Marx’s work were forcefully denounced. While the influence of Hegel31 upon his early writings meant that Marx once subscribed to the dominant principles of humanism, there was, Althusser insisted, a moment of maturity at which Marx suddenly came to see things very differently: Beginning in 1845, Marx breaks radically with all theory that founds history and politics on an essence of man.
8 The Family of Man was finally unveiled to the public on 26 January 1955. That morning, ‘long before the Museum of Modern Art opened, a crowd began waiting in line, soon flooding the long crosstown block in front of the building. 10 In Paris, it was seen by Roland Barthes, who found it guilty of a reactionary appeal to universal human Nature. ’11 This denial of History went hand in hand with an honouring of humanism: [F]irst the difference between human morphologies is asserted, exoticism is insistently stressed, the infinite variations of the species, the diversity in skins, skulls and customs are made manifest, the image of Babel is complacently projected over that of the world.