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The Cat Who Reads the Map: Posthumanism and Animality in "Harry Potter"

The Cat Who Reads the Map: Posthumanism and Animality in "Harry Potter"

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Published by radekpsk
Analysis of the Harry Potter novels based on posthumanist theories concerning the human-animal divide.

Undergraduate end-of-course thesis written by José Rodolfo da Silva to graduate in English Language and Literature at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Abstract:
The analysis undertaken here was carried out with the intent of identifying how non-human animals are represented in the Harry Potter series of seven novels by author J. K. Rowling in order to try to prove that such representations outline posthumanist conceptions of animality and, consequently, of humanity. As theoretical ground for this reading, writings from thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Lévinas, Michel Foucault and J. M. Coetzee were selected in order to try to map a range of possibile understandings of what has been called “the question of the animal” — which also includes reflections on ethics and compassion towards this animal Other. The Harry Potter series was analysed by means of identifying literary moments crucial to the narrative that also resonate with the posthumanist theory highlighted from such authors. It was concluded that the novels present us to a posthumanist pespective of human/animal relations, which enables a Lévinasian ethics which would welcome any Other, be it human or animal.
Analysis of the Harry Potter novels based on posthumanist theories concerning the human-animal divide.

Undergraduate end-of-course thesis written by José Rodolfo da Silva to graduate in English Language and Literature at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Abstract:
The analysis undertaken here was carried out with the intent of identifying how non-human animals are represented in the Harry Potter series of seven novels by author J. K. Rowling in order to try to prove that such representations outline posthumanist conceptions of animality and, consequently, of humanity. As theoretical ground for this reading, writings from thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Lévinas, Michel Foucault and J. M. Coetzee were selected in order to try to map a range of possibile understandings of what has been called “the question of the animal” — which also includes reflections on ethics and compassion towards this animal Other. The Harry Potter series was analysed by means of identifying literary moments crucial to the narrative that also resonate with the posthumanist theory highlighted from such authors. It was concluded that the novels present us to a posthumanist pespective of human/animal relations, which enables a Lévinasian ethics which would welcome any Other, be it human or animal.

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Published by: radekpsk on Aug 30, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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02/07/2013

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THE CAT WHOREADS THE MAP
 Posthumanism and Animality in Harry Potter 
José Rodolfo da Silva
UNIVERSIDADE FEDERAL DE SANTA CATARINA Florianópolis2009
 
 
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The text presented here was written as anundergraduate end-of-course thesis byJosé Rodolfo da Silva as a requirement to graduate in English Language andLiterature at Universidade Federal deSanta Catarina, Brazil, in June 2009.

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