“ A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century.” Donna Haraway – Referencing The New Media Reader, Wardrip-Fruin & Montfort
Original Publication of this Work: Haraway. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature . 1985. Check out Table of Contents
Haraway, Context and Backstory <ul><li>A Cyborg Manifesto advocates for a , 3 rd wave socialist, materialist feminism (SMF) that challenges essentialist feminism 1 st wave (goddess-style universal female identity/matriarchy), and even 2 nd wave radical feminism ( </li></ul><ul><li>The Goddess, according to SMFs, is a figure of a lost, matriarchal utopia; whereas the post-gender cyborg does not look back, engaging the here and now. </li></ul><ul><li>Her argument has had tremendous influence – may be the starting point for current progressive scholarship on science and technology. </li></ul>
Important Concept and Definition <ul><li>Social Relations and Social Reality </li></ul><ul><li>Haraway traces importance of … (as per feminist methodological canon) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Relations of the new technologies – a reformulation of expectations, culture, work, and reproduction … and how this creates a </li></ul><ul><li>Social Reality -- lived social relations, world-changing social constructions. </li></ul>
Tracing the Cyborg Myth A way to make sense of this reading in terms of New Media scholarship <ul><li>One (lofty) tie-in with new media is reading it as an intervention at the level of mythology, of the imagined identities and positions from which action can proceed. Another (more practical) tie-in is tracing the cyborg. </li></ul><ul><li>Sci fi is full of cyborgs, modern medicine likewise full of cyborgs, couplings between organism and machine, with power not generated in the history of sexuality. Creatures of post-gender world. </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-cybernetic machines could be “haunted” (ghost in the machine). But machines could not achieve man(kind)’s dreams only mock them. (To think otherwise is being paranoid.) </li></ul>
Tracing the Cyborg Myth II <ul><li>Technological Determinism as an ideological space that anticipates reconceptions of machine and organism. </li></ul><ul><li>The certainty of what counts as nature is undermined through subversion of organic wholes (the poem, the primitive culture, the biological organism). </li></ul><ul><li>Modern machines are everywhere and invisible… Miniaturization is power, small is not so much beautiful as dangerous. </li></ul><ul><li>Our best machines are light, clean, nothing but signals and electromagnetic waves. </li></ul><ul><li>People are nowhere near so fluid being both material and opaque. Cyborgs are ether, quintessence, ubiquitous, invisible. </li></ul>
Crowning Glory of the Manifesto <ul><li>In this essay … </li></ul><ul><li>Cyborg imagery helps express taking responsibility for the social relations of science and technology. Haraway’s rallying cry … </li></ul><ul><li>“ Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.” </li></ul>
Your Links <ul><li>Cyborg Manifesto </li></ul><ul><li>Cyborgs, Dogs, and Companion Species. Start at 6’50” </li></ul><ul><li>When Species Meet. </li></ul><ul><li>Futurama </li></ul><ul><li>If time … Trannystar </li></ul>
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