Queer Posthumanism Through the Wachowskis

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This article traces the development of queer posthumanism in two of Lana and Lilly Wachowski’s screen collaborations: the feature film Cloud Atlas (co-directed with Tom Tykwer, 2012) and the Netflix series Sense8 (co-showrunners with J. Michael Straczynski, 2015–2018). The Wachowskis’ adaptation of David Mitchell’s postmodern novel Cloud Atlas established a template for the queer posthumanism of Sense8, and together these two screen texts demonstrate how the destabilisation of the human is pivotal to queer ideas of the collective. These Wachowski texts suggest that such destabilisation is not only a common interest of critical posthumanism and queer theory, but also a necessary political move to achieve the liberatory project underpinned by the “transformative coalition work” set out in Cathy Cohen’s influential reimagining of radical queer politics (1997, 438), as they cinematically realise the “new kinds of coitions and coalitions” envisioned by Jack Halberstam and Ira Livingston (1995, 2).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37–51
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2023


  • queer posthumanism
  • Lana Wachowski
  • Lilly Wachowski
  • Cloud Atlas
  • Destabilization
  • queer theory


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