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SHARON WEBB

University of Sussex

KYLIE JARRETT

Maynooth University

Where does the embodied subject begin?

Lilith to mean demonic, to mean “first” life, to mean origin story (literally). Lilith with reference to women as demonic, somehow with sin in a world full of sin perpetrated against them. Lilith with reference to “first” life but without the complexities of the lineage of that life. If we conceive of origin stories as ways to resolve the world’s setup/makeup, to justify our current systems, to amplify our imbalances then Lilith as demon is the only role that they can play. Lilith outside of human is other than, is forgiveness, is new life. Demon is outside of “god”, outside of sin but is inherently sinful (if you believe in sin that is). Lilith though is opportunity to reconfigure the self and the world. Lilith in science fiction is pushing the boundaries of gender – they are genderless, they are in control, they become alien to themselves and to the world that has categorised them as other. 

We repeat. Lilith is new life. But life without sin and so without the fall. They are more pure and more corrupt than what we foolishly define as “life”. Lilith lives and is lived. They are transcendent. They are trans*. 

So what happens to Lilith when they reach menopause? When their function – the reproductive destiny [the] god[s] imposed on them – comes to an end? When their biology no longer reflects the stories told of their sex(lessness)? 

Is this a time of loss, of mourning? Is it a time of celebration? Is it a time of freedom? Do they become cyborg, no longer defined by biological origins or their origin myth? Do they slip into the gaps between, residing merrily, and with a deep throated laugh, in what is betwixt and between? 

But hasn’t Lilith always lived here? They have lived and survived elsewhere, in a liminal space where cyborg and biology become intertwined, where the flesh is the technological flesh. What are the differences between cyborg interventions and “natural” interventions? They both shift and change meaning, they both shift and change genetics, they both shift and change the self. 

Lilith’s menopause is the cyborg’s future. It is reproduction without reproduction. It is life within life – a new life but contrived or envisaged differently. 

We repeat. Lilith is new life. But life without sin and so without the fall. They are more pure and more corrupt than what we foolishly define as “life”. Lilith lives and is lived. They are transcendent. They are trans*.

Question: What happened to Lilith – later?

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07/05/2021

07/05/2021