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Articulating representation

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delivered at the conference "Contested Truths", Berlin, Humboldt Universitat, 19 June 2011.
by Federica Timeto

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Articulating representation

  1. 1. Articulating representation: Haraway’s semiotics and the politics of diffraction<br />Federica Timeto, Universityof Plymouth, UK, PlanetaryCollegium, Milan Node/ Università di Urbino Carlo Bo<br />1<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />
  2. 2. ObjectivityasSituatedKnowledge<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011,<br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />2<br />StandpointEpistemology:<br />An epistemology,<br />A methodology,<br />A politicalstrategy. <br />Knowledgeisalwayssituated.<br />A standpointisdifferentfrom a viewpointbecauseitisanachievement.<br />Neitheruniversalism<br />Norrelativism<br />How a regime oftruthworksratherthanwhatTruthis<br />The usefulnotionof “less false” claims<br />See:<br />Harding, S. (Ed.) (2004) The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies, S. Harding (ed.), New York: Routledge.<br />
  3. 3. ConstrainedConstructivism[Hayles, , N. K. (1991) Constrained Constructivism: Locating Scientific Inquiry in the Theater of Representation. New Orleans Review, 18, 76-85. ]<br />Realism<br />Simmetrybtw. signs and things<br />Affirmation/negation<br />The importanceofconstraints *<br />Asymmetricalcoimplication<br />Assertion/denial<br />3<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />CONGRUENCE<br />CONSISTENCY<br />* Note that I am not saying constraints tell us what reality is. This they cannot do. But they can tell us which representations are consistent with reality, and which are not. (Hayles, 1991/1997)<br />
  4. 4. SituatedKnowledges<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011,<br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />4<br />So science becomes the paradigmatic model not of closure, but of that which is contestable and contested. Science becomes the myth not of what escapes human agency and responsibility in a realm above the fray, but rather of accountability and responsibility for translations and solidarities […]. We do not seek partiality for its own sake, but for the sake of the connections and unexpected openings situated knowledges make possible. The only way to find a larger vision is to be somewhere in particular. <br />(Haraway, 1988/1991, p. 196)<br />Partiality<br />Responsibility<br />Accountability<br />
  5. 5. it’s anontoepistemologicalframework (non relativistbutrealist)<br />Are non relativistantirealistpositions<br />5<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />Agentialrealism<br />Mostfeminist science studies<br />Accordingto Karen Barad…<br />
  6. 6. Baradrefusesmediationbecause:<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />6<br />Questioning the basisof the Newtoniantradition, Bohrrefusesto take forgranted the delineationof the “object” and the “agenciesofobservation” and makes the constitutionof the inside boundary a centerpieceofhisanalysis.<br />[…] In particularheemphasizesthatthe cutdelineating the objectfrom the agenciesofobservationisenactedratherthaninherent.<br />(Barad, 2007, p. 142)<br />Itrelies on a “geometryofabsoluteexteriority”<br />Itpresupposes a dichotomybetweennoumena and phenomena (representationalmodel)<br />Itdoesnot account for the performativityofmatter(ing)<br />
  7. 7. The brittlestars challenge notonlydisembodiedepistemologiesbutalsotraditional, and indeednontraditional, notionsofembodiment. Bodies are notsituated in the world; they are part of the world (Barad, 2007, p. 376)<br />The brittlestarsaretheirvisualapparatus<br />7<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011,<br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />
  8. 8. … discursivepractices are specific material (re)configuringsof the world throughwhich the determinationofboundaries, properties and meaningsisdifferentiallyenacted. Thatis, discursivepractices are ongoingagentialintra-actionsof the world throughwhichspecificdeterminacies (alongwithcomplementaryindeterminacies) are enactedwithin the phenomenaproduced. (Barad, 2007, pp. 148-9)<br />Intra-actionmeansthat:<br />8<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />
  9. 9. Harawayvaluesmediationas:<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />9<br />anactiveoperationoftrasformationthatstandsinside the practiceitactivates (< Latour)<br />the specificityofsituatedknowledges, embodiments and visions<br />the connectionsof the semiotic and the material<br />the articulationofrepresentation<br />
  10. 10. Non-RepresentationalTheory(Thrift, 2008)<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011,<br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />10<br />Radicalempiricism<br />Anti-subjectivism<br />Generativityofpractices<br />Performativityofevents<br />Posthumanist stress on affect<br />Situationalapproach<br />
  11. 11. RepresentationsasFigurationsaccordingtoHaraway<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />11<br />Figurations attempt to draw a cartography of the power relations that define these respective positions. They don’t embellish or metaphorize: they just express different socio-economic and symbolic locations. They draw a cartographic map of power relations and thus can also help identify possible sites and strategies of resistance.<br />(Braidotti, 2003, p. 54)<br />Strong link with location<br />Living and trasformative accounts<br />Situatedcartographies<br />Matter + meaning (the material + the semiotic)<br />
  12. 12. First and foremost, as Haraway suggests, a diffractive methodology is a critical practice for making a difference in the world. It is a commitment to understanding which differences matter, how they matter, and for whom. It is a critical practice of engagement, not a distance-learning practice of reflecting from afar. (Barad, 2007, p. 90)<br />Diffraction<br />12<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />
  13. 13. HowDiffractionworks<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />13<br />Opticalmetaphor + physicalphenomenon<br />Itmapswhere the effectsofdifferenceappear<br />Itdisplaces the sameelsewhere<br />
  14. 14. SeeBarad, 2007, chapter 2 for a detaileddiscussionof the two-slitexperiment.<br />The two-slitexperiment<br />14<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, <br />Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />
  15. 15. The politicsofdiffraction, or enactingthe cut<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011,<br /> Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />15<br />Dealingwithheterogeneityratherthanwithoriginality<br />Historicity<br />Unpredictability and emergenceofevents<br />Possibilityofinterveningto produce “consequentialmeanings”<br />The diffractionfringescreatedby the diffractionofwavesaround the edgesof a razorblade<br />
  16. 16. Thankyou! <br />federica.timeto@plymouth.ac.uk<br />Contested Truths. Re-Shaping and Positioning Politics of Knowledge. June 16-18, 2011, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin<br />16<br />

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