Presentation Title

Jay/James: Locating The Posthuman Embodiment of Gatsby

Presenter Information

David SchwartzFollow

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Posthumanism, Deconstruction, Identity Theory

Biography

David Schwartz is a second-year student at Marshall University with a double major in English and Philosophy. His areas of focus involve the utilization posthuman and queer theory to explore the logic of human and posthuman identity. He hopes to continue these studies in a path of lifelong learning as he pursues acceptance into Law School and a career in Intellectual Property Law.

Major

English/Philosophy

Advisor for this project

Dr. Daniel Lewis

Start Date

19-4-2018 10:45 AM

End Date

19-4-2018 12:00 PM

Abstract

This presentation utilizes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to discuss the problem of character embodiment in the wake of deconstructive literary theory. Addressing the problem raised by Derrida, that there is an abyss between the signifier and signified, one must confront the fact that a character such as Gatsby has no formal and centralized body. Therefore, this study utilizes the posthuman theories of Katherine Hayles and Judith Butler’s theories of performativity to locate embodiment not in formal physicality, but in the abstract action of identity performativity. Likewise, this presentation addresses that, in the character of Gatsby especially, the embodiment of identity performance decentralizes the character’s body, causing identity embodiment to lie in the interstitial tension between a plurality of identity performances. The goal of this character study is thus to analyze this interstitial tension in the embodiment of a posthuman subject such as Gatsby in the hopes of better understanding the process by which a character achieves embodiment in the postmodern era.

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Apr 19th, 10:45 AM Apr 19th, 12:00 PM

Jay/James: Locating The Posthuman Embodiment of Gatsby

This presentation utilizes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to discuss the problem of character embodiment in the wake of deconstructive literary theory. Addressing the problem raised by Derrida, that there is an abyss between the signifier and signified, one must confront the fact that a character such as Gatsby has no formal and centralized body. Therefore, this study utilizes the posthuman theories of Katherine Hayles and Judith Butler’s theories of performativity to locate embodiment not in formal physicality, but in the abstract action of identity performativity. Likewise, this presentation addresses that, in the character of Gatsby especially, the embodiment of identity performance decentralizes the character’s body, causing identity embodiment to lie in the interstitial tension between a plurality of identity performances. The goal of this character study is thus to analyze this interstitial tension in the embodiment of a posthuman subject such as Gatsby in the hopes of better understanding the process by which a character achieves embodiment in the postmodern era.