A1 Journal article (refereed)
“Isn’t Self-destruction Coded into Us, Programmed into Each Cell?” : A Thanatological, Posthumanist Reading of Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018) (2023)


Kosonen, H. (2023). “Isn’t Self-destruction Coded into Us, Programmed into Each Cell?” : A Thanatological, Posthumanist Reading of Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018). Journal of Ecohumanism, 2(2), 161-175. https://doi.org/10.33182/joe.v2i2.3007


JYU authors or editors


Publication details

All authors or editorsKosonen, Heidi

Journal or seriesJournal of Ecohumanism

ISSN2752-6798

eISSN2752-6801

Publication year2023

Publication date10/06/2023

Volume2

Issue number2

Pages range161-175

PublisherTransnational Press London

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.33182/joe.v2i2.3007

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/88927


Abstract

As both a novel (VanderMeer, 2014) and cinematic adaptation (Garland, 2018), Annihilation has engaged posthumanist and ecocritical scholars seeking to answer to the demand for art forms to participate in the renegotiation of the grand narratives feeding the ongoing environmental crisis and chipping away at the liveability of Planet Earth. In my reading of Alex Garland’s film, I discuss how its depiction of death adds to these discussions by challenging the human exceptionalism built into meaning-making processes, which have situated humans as above “nature,” including death, by defining human life as more valuable than all other life. As an umbrella term covering these varied processes, I discuss biopower, which seeks to regulate life by forbidding death in humans and denying life to other kind of life forms. I locate Annihilation within films that make use of the cinematic mode of ecohorror, exploring human fears and anxieties relating to death and “monstrous nature” with an ecocritical twist. I employ film analysis and draw theoretically on thanatological and posthumanist discussions, as I reflect on the kind of understanding of death that arises in Annihilation and centre on the discussion of self-destruction and suicide in discussing the human character Josie’s death in relation to the film’s non-human actant, The Shimmer.


Keywordshorror filmsscience fiction filmsecocriticismdeathself-destructionsuicidebiopoliticsthanatologyposthumanism

Free keywordsecohorror; biopower; death; suicide; cinema


Contributing organizations


Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating1


Last updated on 2024-02-07 at 23:26