Posts Tagged ‘donna j harraway’

Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature

July 30, 2011

“Feminism, I suggest, can draw from a basic insight of critical theory. The starting point of critical theory- as we have learned it from Marx, the Frankfurt school, and others- is that the social and economic means of human liberation are within our grasp. Nevertheless, we continue to live out relations of dominance and scarcity. There is the possibility of overturning that order of things. The study of this contradiction may be applied to all our knowledge, including natural science. The critical tradition insists that we analyze relations of dominance in consciousness as well as material interests, that we see domination as a derivative of theory, not of nature. A feminist history of science, which must be a collective achievement, could examine that part of biosocial science in which our alleged evolutionary biology is traced and supposedly inevitable patterns of order based on domination are legitimated. The examination should play seriously with the rich ambiguity and metaphorical possibilities of both technical and ordinary words. Feminist reappropriate science in order to discover and define what is ‘natural’ for ourselves.”

-from “The Past is the Contested Zone: Human Nature and Theories of Production and Reproduction in Primate Behavior Studies.”

This is what I’m talking about when I tell you that Donna Haraway solved it already and the rest of us are just catching up: this essay was originally published in 1978, a year before I was even born.


November of the Soul

May 29, 2011

Let me tell you about how I feel about the beginnings of some of the books I am reading.

The first hundred and twenty pages (eg, like, the first tenth) of November of the Soul: The Enigma of Suicide by George Howe Colt are absolutely fascinating but I keep feeling like a jerk when I go “I have to get home, I’m super stoked to read this cinderblock-sized tome about suicide.”

I read the first chapter of the Spiral Dance by Starhawk and wrote a lot about it in my witchy shit journal (which is made out of paper) and I’m not going to tell you what I wrote but I am pretty much into it and have been remembering that I really like feminist theory and am having a complicated relationship to the fact that so much busted stuff came out of seventies feminism and having to remind myself that a lot of good came out of it, too.

The first hundred and twenty pages of A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan are really well-written literary fiction and I can’t really deny that but I still don’t feel that stoked about it which is a shame because I’m bottomlining a book group discussion about it in three days and I keep wanting to go home and read about suicide or goddess religions instead. And what I really should be doing is writing some stuff I need to write, like, in a “moving forward with my life” sense.

I tried to read Thoughts Without a Thinker by Mark Epstein but it was boring because he just kept going “here is a thing in Freudian psychology and here is a corresponding thing in Buddhism.” I was like, I get it, where are you going with this? I’m sure he went somewhere with it, but I didn’t care enough to get to the answer.

The Secret History of the World is a nice overview of lots of occult shit

So is To Ride a Silver Broom or whatever it’s called, by Silver Ravenwolf, although that one’s mostly just wicca stuff.

The first ten pages of Modest_Witness@Second_Millenium.FemaleMan(c)_Meets_OncoMouse(tm) by Donna Haraway WHO I LOVE are adorably nineties. That one only came into my life about an hour ago.

I still think I will finish that Samuel Delaney book but I haven’t picked it up in a month but I will, just trust me.