"It's All There Right in Front of You": Corporate Ideology and Genetic Engineering in Larissa Lai's Salt Fish Girl
Marsden, Vanessa Rachael
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This thesis considers how Larissa Lai’s ecofeminist novel Salt Fish Girl (2002) usefully intervenes in debates about genetic engineering by challenging corporatist narratives of techno-scientific progress and control. With reference to a fictitious but familiar social system that increasingly serves the interests of big corporations and thus seems to be out of the control of individuals, Lai foregrounds the unintended consequences of genetic engineering, including the capacity for engineered or mutated bodies to subvert the various policies and practices that seek to control and devalue them. Rather than being eliminated by genetic engineering, mutations and mutated bodes are unavoidable products of the process. By subverting the principles on which they were created, Lai’s unruly mutant bodies offer the possibility of alternatives to the corporate social structure that seeks to regulate and normalize individuals.