The essay explores the relationship human/non-human (a dichotomy per se problematic) in the television series Wayward Pines and True Blood. The contamination between utopia, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, and gothic fiction that characterizes them (although in different thematic and structural modes) is the passage where social and cultural issues together with fears and desires are exposed and elaborated. Formally constructed as a utopia, Wayward Pines is a postmodern, post-apocalyptic show, reproducing many patterns of classical dystopias. It presents insurmountable boundaries separating it from the outside, and is established on a system based on “surveilling and punishing”. The closed, rigid borders, both material and symbolic, that also involve issues of gender, otherness, and identity, unfold in the relationship between humans and non-humans as a reflection of the fears of possible contamination and death, haunted by the memory of the primitive as the zero degree of civilization and women as functional in the system. Binary oppositions such as town/wilderness, civilization/primitive, reason/state of nature can be seen as a citation derived from primitivist cultural representations. By expressing different forms of life that exceed the binary thought, True Blood focuses on potentially subversive representations of sexual preferences, “ethnicities”, and classes, evoking civil rights against prejudices and many forms of discrimination. Overcoming the human/non-human dichotomy, the show succeeds in portraying a continuum of evolving, mutable, and mutating identities to give poetic and political space to new forms of posthumanism. At the same time, the increase of conflicts amongst different “species” and vampire groups might reassert the same dichotomy that True Blood has attempted to overcome, thus possibly depriving utopia/dystopia of its subversive powers. Despite their structural diversity, these television series are significant of an urgent quest not only to produce new meanings for identity and otherness, but also to envisage radically new forms of subjectivities in post-postcolonial and posthuman times.

Citations of "Difference": Human/Non-Human, Mutations, and Contaminations in Utopian/Dystopian Television Series

Monticelli, Rita
2018

Abstract

The essay explores the relationship human/non-human (a dichotomy per se problematic) in the television series Wayward Pines and True Blood. The contamination between utopia, dystopia, post-apocalyptic, and gothic fiction that characterizes them (although in different thematic and structural modes) is the passage where social and cultural issues together with fears and desires are exposed and elaborated. Formally constructed as a utopia, Wayward Pines is a postmodern, post-apocalyptic show, reproducing many patterns of classical dystopias. It presents insurmountable boundaries separating it from the outside, and is established on a system based on “surveilling and punishing”. The closed, rigid borders, both material and symbolic, that also involve issues of gender, otherness, and identity, unfold in the relationship between humans and non-humans as a reflection of the fears of possible contamination and death, haunted by the memory of the primitive as the zero degree of civilization and women as functional in the system. Binary oppositions such as town/wilderness, civilization/primitive, reason/state of nature can be seen as a citation derived from primitivist cultural representations. By expressing different forms of life that exceed the binary thought, True Blood focuses on potentially subversive representations of sexual preferences, “ethnicities”, and classes, evoking civil rights against prejudices and many forms of discrimination. Overcoming the human/non-human dichotomy, the show succeeds in portraying a continuum of evolving, mutable, and mutating identities to give poetic and political space to new forms of posthumanism. At the same time, the increase of conflicts amongst different “species” and vampire groups might reassert the same dichotomy that True Blood has attempted to overcome, thus possibly depriving utopia/dystopia of its subversive powers. Despite their structural diversity, these television series are significant of an urgent quest not only to produce new meanings for identity and otherness, but also to envisage radically new forms of subjectivities in post-postcolonial and posthuman times.
(Post)Colonial Passages: Incursions and Excursions across the Literatures and Cultures in English
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Monticelli, Rita
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/631480
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