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Commodified Life: Post-Humanism, Cloning and Gender in Orphan Black

  • Sherryl VintEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This paper argues that the television series Orphan Black (2013-2017) explores the philosophical implications of cloning and the posthuman questions these issues inevitably raise about the boundaries of the human. More importantly—it uses the experiences of its clones to draw attention to the existing legal context that is rapidly transforming the relationship of humans to their embodiment. The ethical questions raised by cloning and discourses of posthumanism, then, are no longer merely the stuff of sf extrapolation, but represent more-than-metaphorically biopolitical realities: commodification of body tissues; the sale of embodied services such as surrogate pregnancies; and IP in living organisms, including aspects of human DNA. The existence of cloning as a viable technology, and the current legislative and economic context in which commodified human body tissues circulate, makes the ethical issues raised by Orphan Black an important intervention into contemporary techno-science even though human clones do you (yet) exist.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media and Cultural StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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