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Bloomsbury Academic

Vibrant Death: A Posthuman Phenomenology Of Mourning (Theory In The New Humanities)

Vibrant Death: A Posthuman Phenomenology Of Mourning (Theory In The New Humanities)

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Vibrant Death links philosophy and poetry-based, corpo-affectively grounded knowledge seeking. It offers a radically new materialist theory of death, critically moving the philosophical argument beyond Christian and secular-mechanistic understandings. The book's ethico-political figuration of vibrant death is shaped through a pluriversal conversation between Deleuzean philosophy, neo-vitalist materialism and the spiritual materialism of decolonial, queerfeminist poet and scholar Gloria Anzaldua. The book's posthuman deexceptionalizing of human death unfurls together with a collection of poetry, and autobiographical stories. They are analysed through the lens of a posthuman, queerfeminist revision of the method of autophenomenography (phenomenological analysis of autobiographical material). Nina Lykke explores the speaking position of a mourning, queerfeminine ”I”, who contemplates the relationship with her dead beloved lesbian life partner. She reflects on her enactment of processes of co-becoming with the phenomenal and material traces of the deceased body, and the new assemblages with which it has merged through death's material metamorphoses: becoming-ashes through cremation, and becoming-mixed-with-algae-sand when the ashes were scattered across a seabed made of fiftyfive million-year-old, fossilized algae. It is argued that the mourning “I”'s intimate bodily empathizing (theorized as symphysizing) with her deceased, queermasculine beloved life partner facilitates the processes of vitalist-material and spiritual-material co-becoming, and the rethinking of death from a new and different perspective than that of the sovereign, philosophical subject.


  • | Author: Nina Lykke
  • | Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • | Publication Date: Jul 27, 2023
  • | Number of Pages: 304 pages
  • | Language: English
  • | Binding: Paperback
  • | ISBN-10: 1350187828
  • | ISBN-13: 9781350187825
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