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Towards Ahuman Futures? Cultural Studies for the End of the World

Ariane de Waal, Mark Schmitt

Pages 139 - 157

Abstract: Ahuman theory was coined by philosopher Patricia MacCormack and constitutes an intervention into posthumanist thinking. MacCormack’s ‘Ahuman Manifesto’ (2020) proposes a set of provocative tenets to challenge human exceptionalism in the face of environmental crisis. The ahuman touches on a range of interconnected aspects, including (anti-)humanism and posthumanism, human interaction with nonhuman species, ecology and the environmental humanities, the ethics of care, reproduction, and the epistemology of life and related systems of (scientific) knowledge – all of which inevitably intersect with questions of culture and politics. This issue of the ‘Journal for the Study of British Cultures’ intends to take up the philosophical challenge of the Manifesto and to investigate the implications of ahuman theory for the study of British cultures and discourses in the wake of the humanities’ nonhuman turn. The introduction sketches the wider discursive and theoretical context of MacCormack’s ahuman theory and traces cultural figurations of the ahuman.

Keywords: ahuman theory, (anti-)humanism, posthumanism, nonhuman turn


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