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‘Living in a Material World’: Frankenstein and new materialism


This paper uses concepts from Karen Barad’s theories from quantum physics and other theoretical approaches from new materialism to show how Frankenstein can be used to introduce this new framework and to challenge an older one based on dualism, representationalism and individualism. A new ethical understanding of the message of the text emerges from this reading—one that rethinks the prohibitions against ‘playing God’ or creating the unnatural and relies instead on an ethics of care.

  • cultural history
  • English literature
  • literary theory
  • literature and medicine
  • narrative ethics

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