The Posthuman

Luna Dolezal and Amelia DeFalco

Feature image courtesy of 20th Century Studios. Image of the character Gazelle from the film Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

A chapter by Luna Dolezal and Amelia DeFalco, ‘The Posthuman’, has been published in the collection ‘Contemporary Literature and the Body: A Critical Introduction’ edited by Alice Hall (2023).

Posthuman bodies abound in contemporary literature and film, where the posthuman imaginary of the cyborg figure — ‘a hybrid of machine and organism’; to use Harroway’s formulation — frequently converges with two embodied motifs: the hyper-sexualised female body and the ‘supercrip’, a ‘disabled’ body which has been enhanced and augmented, both functionally and aesthetically, by prostheses, implants or other assistive technologies. In this chapter we explore the imaginaries of the posthuman hyper-sexualized supercrip through contemporary films, including Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) and Planet Terror (2007), which feature deadly, weaponized lower limb prostheses. The chapter explores the intersection of the posthuman, disability and the military-industrial complex in these contemporary representations of deadly female cyborgs and their real life hyper-sexualized supercrip corollaries. 

Book cover of Contemporary Literature and The Body edited by Alice Hall
Image courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.


Dolezal, L. and DeFalco, A (2023) ‘The Posthuman’. In Hall, A. (editor) Contemporary Literature and the Body: A Critical Introduction, Bloomsbury Academic. 215-237.