Of Monsters and Women: Two Female Characters and Trans/Posthumanism in HBO’s Lovecraft Country
Keywords:Transhumanism, Posthumanism, Lovecraft Country, Popular Culture, Science Fiction, Gothic Fiction, African American
There has been, in recent times, a resolution to make up for the traditional lack of prominent female representation in audiovisual popular culture. HBO’s series Lovecraft Country (2020) constitutes one of such proposals. By focusing on a group of African American characters who must struggle with the terrifying reality of Jim Crow U.S. as well as with magic and other-worldly creatures, the show constitutes a fascinating platform whence a powerful social criticism is proposed to the audience. Being the series a version of Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name, it is my intention to analyze one of the transmedia alterations which took place in the adaptation process. The creators of Lovecraft Country deemed it necessary to gender-swap two of the characters from the novel, with the possibilities this change opened. The inclusion of two female characters in the series in detriment of their male counterparts in the novel is quite telling and has an underlying significance, for it points out to a strong determination to alter female representation in Science Fiction and the Gothic. Additionally, Christina Braithwhite and Dee Freeman are the only two characters to acquire a posthuman state. It is therefore this paper’s main aim to provide an examination of their characters and their process of ‘transhumanization’ through the lens of Transhumanism and Posthumanism. Both represent different trends of transhumanism and embody disparate stands to posthumanism, hence the necessary analysis of the latent subtexts which these two characters catalyze.
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