Bioengineering, embodied subjectivity, and biomedical trash: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Kishwar Desai’s origins of love
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This thesis examines selected fictional representations of ethical, emotional and existential anxieties triggered by developments made in the domains of bioengineering like artificial reproductive technology (ART), organ transplantation, and human cloning. The historical framework of this research is the period 1818-2012, and this study aims to examine how selected literary representations are ontologically equipped to critique conventional understandings of lived realities that are discursively determined by medico-legal classifications of embodiment, agency, human subjectivity, personhood, citizenship, and family. The main objective of this thesis is to foreground how selected literary representations of the sociocultural and political status of bioengineered lives enable us to reflect with renewed attention on the current culture of biocapitalization that, on the one hand, has produced flawless human commodities and on the other hand, has created a class of bioengineered beings classified as disposable lives exploited for biomedical purposes and are subsequently converted into biomedical trash.
Supervisor: Avishek Parui
BIOSCIENCES AND BIOENGINEERING