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Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman

Edited by Dennis M. Weiss; Amy D. Propen and Colbey Emmerson Reid - Contributions by Kristie S. Fleckenstein; Brendan Keogh; Jonathan Rey Lee; Matthew A. Levy; Emily McArthur; Josh Mehler; Nicole M. Merola; Anthony Miccoli; Elise Takehana; John Tinnell and Yoni Van Den Eede

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Though the progress of technology continually pushes life toward virtual existence, the last decade has witnessed a renewed focus on materiality. Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman bears witness to the attention paid by literary theorists, digital humanists, rhetoricians, philosophers, and designers to the crafted environment, the manner in which artifacts mediate human relations, and the constitution of a world in which the boundary between humans and things has seemingly imploded. The chapters reflect on questions about the extent to which we ought to view humans and nonhuman artifacts as having equal capacity for agency and life, and the ways in which technological mediation challenges the central tenets of humanism and anthropocentrism.

Contemporary theories of human-object relations presage the arrival of the posthuman, which is no longer a futuristic or science-fictional concept but rather one descriptive of the present, and indeed, the past. Discussions of the posthuman already have a long history in fields like literary theory, rhetoric, and philosophy, and as advances in design and technology result in increasingly engaging artifacts that mediate more and more aspects of everyday life, it becomes necessary to engage in a systematic, interdisciplinary, critical examination of the intersection of the domains of design, technological mediation, and the posthuman. Thus, this collection brings diverse disciplines together to foster a dialogue on significant technological issues pertinent to philosophy, rhetoric, aesthetics, and science.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 326Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-9177-4 • Hardback • August 2014 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7391-9178-1 • eBook • August 2014 • $99.99 • (£70.00)
Dennis Weiss is professor of philosophy in the English and Humanities Department at York College of Pennsylvania.

Amy Propen is lecturer of rhetoric and composition in the Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Colbey Emmerson Reid is director of the Consumer Innovation Consortium in the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.
Introduction: MIND versus THING and Other ‘Central Events’ of the Twenty-First Century

Part One: Interface
Introduction
Chapter One: Posthuman Topologies: Thinking Through the Hoard, Anthony Miccoli
Chapter Two: The Rhetorical Work of the GPS: Geographic Knowledge-Making and the Technologically-Mediated Body, Amy D. Propen
Chapter Three: Neo-Baroque Computing: Interface and the Subject-Object Divide, Elise Takehana
Chapter Four: Techno-Geographic Interfaces: Layers of Text and Agency in Mobile Augmented Reality, John Tinnell

Part Two: Artifact
Introduction
Chapter Five: The Plastic Art of LEGO: An Essay into Material Culture, Jonathan Rey Lee
Chapter Six: The iPhone Erfahrung: Siri, the Auditory Unconscious, and Walter Benjamin’s “Aura”, Emily McArthur
Chapter Seven: Victorian Cybernetics: Networking Technology, Disability and Interior Design, Colbey Emmerson Reid
Chapter Eight: Extending “Extension”: A Reappraisal of the Technology-as-Extension Idea through the Case of Self-Tracking Technologies, Yoni Van Den Eede

Part Three: Users
Introduction
Chapter Nine: Mobility Regimes and the Constitution of the Nineteenth-Century Posthuman Body, Kristie Fleckenstein and Josh Mehler
Chapter Ten: Living Deliberately, Less or More: Affirmative Cynicism and Radical Design, Matthew A. Levy
Chapter Eleven: Seduced by the Machine: Human-Technology Relations and Sociable Robots, Dennis M. Weiss
Chapter Twelve: “You really are you, right?”: Cybernetic Memory and the Construction of the Posthuman Self in Videogame Play, Brendan Keogh
Chapter Thirteen: Mediating Anthropocene Planetary Attachments: Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Nicole Merola
Anytime one mixes new technologies with the posthuman, one can expect a wild ride. Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman does not disappoint. From iPads and Phones, GPS and Internet on to LEGO and Siri, then to Steampunk Corsets, Elephantman and Final Fantasy VII, the role of posthuman and technologies undergoes a stimulating analysis.
Don Ihde, Stony Brook University


Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman provides an innovative set of interdisciplinary articles examining the intersections of the human, the technical, and the natural world. It offers both solid theoretical reflections on and interesting applications of ideas from major theoreticians working on these issues, from Bruno Latour to Peter-Paul Verbeek, Jane Bennett, and N. Katherine Hayles.
Darrell Arnold, St. Thomas University


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