Posthumanist Reflections in J.M Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999) and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001): Alternative Environmental Ethics of South Africa and Japan

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Weeraya Donsomsakulkij


This paper aims to investigate the ways in which notions of posthumanism are portrayed and sustained in the post-apartheid South African literature, Disgrace (1999) by J.M. Coetzee and the Japanese animation, Spirited Away (2001) by Hayao Miyazaki, reflecting on alternative environmental ethics. Posthumanism aims for propelling future sustainability by considering what concepts of humanism did to the world, structurally and discursively. Transgressing the binaries of nature and culture, human and non-human, animated and inanimated, posthumanism accredits the archipelic performances beyond modes of positioned identities and their modes of othering. However, as its current main concentration is still on Western countries, its frameworks and outcomes are constrained within Western narrations, ideologies and contexts. This paper, therefore, attempts to transgress this corpus and its epistemologies by looking at two narrations from South Africa and Japan. As a result, the paper attempts to further develop the framework of posthumanism by extending its foci onto Japanese and South African contexts.

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