Lacan and the posthuman: prosthetic body in the works of Andy Warhol and David Cronenberg
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This dissertation examines the connection between the discourses of psychoanalysis and posthumanism. It focuses on the themes of humans' interaction with technology in the works of Warhol and Cronenberg made in the timeframe between 1960, the year the term “cyborg” was introduced, and today, when this term is being replaced by the notion of “posthuman.” This work examines the shift from “cyborg” to “posthuman” and argues that it pertains to the change in perceiving the technologically enhanced body - from McLuhan's extended body in the 1960s to the prosthetic body in today's posthumanist account. Drawing on the work of Jacques Lacan, the dissertation critically addresses the technological determinism in the discourses of the posthumanities and identify it as symptomatic. Deciphering this symptom in the works of Andy Warhol and David Cronenberg, this dissertation unveils the mechanisms by which the subject maintains his or her identifications in the techno-age. This research argues for the necessity of a critical posthumanism without technology and see psychoanalytic posthumanism as one of these directions, defined by Lacan as “Psychoanalysis is not a humanism.”
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