Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
David Ian Paddy
While the fiction of J.G. Ballard has been primarily explored through postmodern criticism, his narratives and settings predict major issues concerning the contemporary discourse of posthumanism. His texts explore the escalating economic, social, and ecological crises converging within the material conditions of human urbanization and late capitalism. Nearly all of Ballard’s novels are as much about locations undergoing a crisis as they are about individuals or communities coming to embrace some extended period of human hysteria. His characters in The Drought, Concrete Island, and Super- Cannes, each progress through ecologically and socially alienating surroundings which invigorate them to act against classical humanism’s hegemonic and anthropocentric tendencies. By applying Henri Lefebvre’s spatial concept of “abstract space” to Ballard’s range of urban settings, this thesis investigates how Ballard’s early, middle, and late, novels continually put materiality, humanism, and technological landscapes, through different ecological and geopolitical crises in order to deconstruct a number of cultural and ideological concerns posthumanist studies seek to address.
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Hausmann, Mark. Concrete Reality: The Posthuman Landscapes of J.G. Ballard. 2016. Chapman University, MA Thesis. Chapman University Digital Commons, https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000022