College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts in English (MA)


Andrew Walker


technology, memory, imagination, posthumanism, empire, A Memory Called Empire, imago


English Language and Literature


This thesis considers the relationship of technology to the human through a posthumanist lens, questioning what will become of the human an increasingly more-than-human world through an examination of the novel A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine. Through an examination of the imago device from the novel, the thesis evaluates the human experience of memory and the influence of empire. The thesis advances four key concepts: 1. The collapsed divide between the human and the technic through memory and imagination; 2. Technology’s development and use; 3. The user that is integrated with the technic; and 4. The poisonous influence of empire. The thesis argues that these four ideas are significant because of the power of the imagination to shape the future, the influence of empire on these imaginings, and the danger of an anthropocentric approach to these imaginations. Ultimately, posthumanism explored in A Memory Called Empire presents a potential model for the integration of technology with the human, an integration that can affirm the human qualities of memory and imagination and can integrate with the technic.