Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

Humanities, PhD

Committee Chair

Gibson, John

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hufbauer, Benjamin

Committee Member

Hufbauer, Benjamin

Committee Member

Williams, Michael

Committee Member

Angermann, Asaf

Author's Keywords

posthumanism; androids; science fiction; artificial intelligence


This dissertation examines philosophical posthumanism as a means for critical analysis of the interaction between humans and nonhuman androids in select science fiction cinematic universes. The interaction is analyzed through several facets, notably the interactions between humans and nonhuman androids, particularly as interactions between the human and nonhuman are often sites of violence. Chapter one is an introduction. Chapter two describes the development of philosophical posthumanism from humanism, also including an analysis of philosophical posthumanism, and how it can be used as a critical lens. Chapter three begins an analysis of science fiction cinema by examining the Blade Runner films and HBO’s Westworld series (season one). Chapter four discusses director Ridley Scott’s Alien movies, and the Star Wars films. Chapter five provides an overview of previous discussion, along with introducing some other, more discrete films that have posthumanistic methods/ideas as main plot points. The conclusion also explores ideas about how the science fiction may have implications for real-world technological advances and living in the age of the Anthropocene.