Human, all too human

(ed.)
New York: Routledge (1996)
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Abstract

The question of what it means to be human has never before been more difficult and more contested. The human, with a complicated social history that his rarely been examined, remains entrenched in traditional Enlightenment thinking. Human, All Too Human considers how we might radicalize our notion of the human. Can the human be thought outside humanism? Any rethinking of the human places us immediately inside an ever-widening field of contrasting labels: animate and inanimate, natural and artificial, living and dead, organic and mechanistic. These and other boundary confusions at the frontier of the human are the subject of this volume, as each essay takes up one of three disputed border identities: animals, things or children. Human, All Too Human examines how we explain our interest in anthropomorphism and our fascination with species categorizations. Essays explore what we mean by "things" and how the integrity of the human may already be compromised by them. The nine essays in this volume all attempt to rethink the category of the human, challenging some of our most cherished cultural classifications. By inviting us to place the traditions subject of knowledge in the unsettling position of object, these writers interrogate the boundary distinctions that, until now, have exempted the human from the vigilant analysis it so urgently requires. Contributors: Nancy Armstrong, Rey Chow, Drucilla Cornell, Diana Fuss, Marjorie Garber, Barbara Johnson, Cora Kaplan, James Kincaid, Harriet Ritvo, David Willis.

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