Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Larson

Abstract

Rosi Braidotti warns us in her book Lo posthumano (2013) that “when the word difference implies inferiority, the connotation can be both dangerous and harmful for those marked as the other” (12). Since Michel Foucault first began his analysis of biopolitics, there have been many thinkers who have theorized how heteropatriarchal roles demand conformity at the risk of self-alienation and loss of identity. The theatrics demanded by an externally imposed social order can tax personal autonomy and diminish the resources required for individual growth and development. Judith Butler’s performance theory uses biopolitics to underscore how gender identity and sexual orientation are social constructs. The cyberpunk novels Lágrimas en la lluvia (2011), by Rosa Montero, and Piel (1989), by Elia Barceló, use fiction to unveil the real life mechanics at work in a biopolitical world. Using Donna Haraway’s cyborg theory and Rosi Braidotti’s posthuman theory, this dissertation examines how Montero and Barceló offer an alternative that allows the individual to deconstruct said discourse through the hybridity of their main characters and the hybrid nature of the narratives themselves. In order to do so, Chapter One explores these theories, while Chapter Two consists of a practical analysis of gender and sexual orientation norms. Chapter There examines how the posthuman breaks from this discourse of domination and instead chooses to embrace life and promote bonds of equality and sustainability with both the other and nature. In order to do so, this thesis draws on Erich Fromm’s ideas on positive freedom and the tools that he and Braidotti provide to change the paradigm and prevent the dystopias these novels portray from becoming our future.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.227

Available for download on Friday, June 23, 2023

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