Hopkinson's Anti-Posthumanism

So, this is a topic we talked about a little in class today, but since my paper is on posthumanism, I'm having a little trouble thinking about anything else, so I'm going to go for it anyways.
To my mind, this is one of the most anti-posthumanist novels we've read thus far in the class, which I find most interesting considering just how little the novel exposes us to advanced technology, since most of the storyline takes place in the primitive society of New Half-Way Tree. Hopkinson does a little bit of the typical anti-transhumanism presentation in the obvious perversity of a theoretically positive advance. Generally speaking, I get so caught up in the storyline of a novel that I have a hard time picking up on subtle undertones, components of a universe that are overtly presented as positive, when really maybe we're supposed to see them as nefarious. I have the worst time with unpleasant technological advances, because my first inclination is to think of technology as progressive. But when Ione realizes the sheriffs are arresting Antonio and says "Nanny save we!" I was profoundly disturbed (64). The grand anansi is so powerful, that its nickname is used in place of God. It happens again, after he finds out Quashee is dead, Antonio says "Nanny have mercy" where the implied continued thought is …on my soul (70). Nanny has become so pervasive that people are essentially praying to a machine for salvation. There's also the very creepy final passage, when we realize that the nanobots have made their way into Tan-Tan's child, without Tan-Tan's consent, let alone the child's.
I also see the novel as anti-transhumanist in its absolute corporeality. One of the overarching goals for posthumanists is to fully disengage from the body, and become an unbounded entity in cyberspace, or some analogous structure, as we saw with Case in Neuromancer. Nalo Hopkinson rejects disembodiment and fully embraces the importance of corporal reality. We see this, as mentioned in class, in the fact that the technology (nanomites) inhabits the body, rather than having the mind moving into cyberspace. I also see it in Tan-Tan's pregnancy. Incorporating such a purely physical phenomenon into the story reinforces the importance of the corporal over the ethereal. I also read Brown Girl in the Ring, and see a similar trend in that novel as well. Again, the human bodies are possessed, and actually physically changed by the spirits. The main character resolves a conflict by hands-on fighting, which we haven't seen much of previously in this class. In an altered state, she lifts a man off the ground with two fingers. The most powerful force in the book, the duppy-bowl is powered by human blood rather than code, thoughts, or information, and to break its power, the main character has to break a physical object, which, once broken, reveals all the physical things its made of: "reeking clumps of dirt; a twist of hair; white knuckle bones; the black, mummified body of what looked like a dead cat" (204). The final showdown then makes the conflict explicit. The villain says "that body don't have to be your home no more. You don't have to feel pain no more, sweetheart. Your granddaddy could help you. After I speak the right words, the powder you take will give your spirit strength to act on it own, without the body. Let your spirit talk to me" (216). And though over the course of the novel, the main character expresses a fair amount of discontent with her body, she overcomes that discontent and rejects becoming a disembodied entity, regardless of the pain her body sometimes brings.
Overall, I thought it was very cool that Hopkinson could push away technology not only using the typical presentation of a seemingly benevolent technology gone horribly, horribly wrong, but also through a very firm embrace of the natural, corporeal world.