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Rethinking the Hollywood Teen MovieGender, Genre and Identity$
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Frances Smith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474413091

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474413091.001.0001

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Becoming Other: The Posthuman and the Teen Movie

Becoming Other: The Posthuman and the Teen Movie

(p.146) 6. Becoming Other: The Posthuman and the Teen Movie
Rethinking the Hollywood Teen Movie

Frances Smith

Edinburgh University Press

In 1999, N. Katherine Hayles argued that ‘we are all posthuman now’ owing to our daily interactions with intelligent machines. If moral panics about the time teenagers spend with screen media are to be believed, then present-day adolescents may have evolved into another life form entirely.1 Hayles’s conception of the posthuman is tinged with concern for the future; the very notion of human consciousness merged with computers calls up an association with the monstrous. As will become apparent, the question of the monstrous is a significant one for the analysis of the teen movie, particularly given the history of teenagers themselves as liminal figures removed from the more clearly defined identities of child or adult. However, William Brown observes that, like many a ‘post’, the posthuman should not be conceived as an identity that is wholly removed from the human, but rather a viewpoint that offers a perspective on the contingent position of humans in the world. The posthuman, then, offers a critical distance from human subjectivity, which allows us to perceive the white, male, Eurocentric assumptions that continue to underpin not only the conception of the human, but the tenets of liberal humanism.

Keywords:   Spider-Man, Nerd, Alterity, Twilight, Posthuman Teenage Girl, Ethics, Responsibility, Chronicle, Apex Predator, Identities

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