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Biopunk Dystopias Genetic Engineering, Society and Science Fiction$
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Lars Schmeink

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781383766

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781383766.001.0001

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date: 22 November 2017

The Utopian, the Dystopian, and the Heroic Deeds of One

The Utopian, the Dystopian, and the Heroic Deeds of One

Chapter:
(p.179) 6 The Utopian, the Dystopian, and the Heroic Deeds of One
Source:
Biopunk Dystopias Genetic Engineering, Society and Science Fiction
Author(s):

Lars Schmeink

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781383766.003.0006

Chapter 6 discusses the TV series Heroes as more optimistic in its depiction of the social consequences of posthuman evolution than the other texts analyzed. The show's premise of posthumanity as a result of evolutionary mutation reflects radical changes in subjectivity not onto an elite few, as in classic superhero narratives, but onto the everyday man. The series consequently emphasizes the potential of the posthuman condition as a catalyst for global social and political change – a solution to the 'big issues' that elude the current institutions of power. The posthuman becomes the site of struggle over the potential changes to the future, in effect over the concept of utopia. In contrasting dystopian futures with the present possibility of change through posthumanity, the show allows a utopian space to emerge, in which global issues such as the war on terror can be solved and attacks such as those on 9/11 could be prevented. In this, Heroes returns to humanist notions and concepts of history as events shaped by exceptional individuals, while at the same time complicating them with communal images of a cooperative and interconnected posthuman subjectivity.

Keywords:   Utopian hope, Heroes (NBC), Individualization, Potential for change, Community

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