The topic and specific trajectory of this collection results from the observation that posthumanism has become one of the most productive concepts in current literary and cultural research. At the same time, it leaves unanswered key questions concerning the implications for the study of narrative, undermining categories such as authorial or readerly agency, meaning, ‘literature’, or even the humanities as a theoretical and epistemic reference point. The articles in the collection therefore set out to explore modes of posthumanist reading, writing and analysis, in conflict or productive tension with theoretical paradigms such as postcolonial and gender studies. A special focus is placed on key concepts in the study of narrative, discussing computer-generated literature, serial and digital interactive narratives and the translation of posthumanist thinking into the pedagogic practice of teaching literature. Building on the by now substantially expanded corpus of posthumanist work by the likes of Braidotti, Colebrooke, Herbrechter and Wolfe, it elaborates on the notion that ‘reading in ruins’ provides a fruitful avenue for rethinking the meaning and practice of literary reading and the study of narrative in the twenty-first century.

This Special Collection has been guest edited by:
Julia Hoydis – University of Duisburg-Essen
Roman Bartosch – University of Cologne

Reading in Ruins: Exploring Posthumanist Narrative Studies

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Special Collections