donna haraway

donna haraway.png

[denver, went to cc]

intro’d to Donna via Audrey‘s sept 2016 talk.. referencing the cyborg manifesto.. hugely resonating with rev in reverse ness and liminality/rev ness

part of Donna.. as quoted by Audrey:

The cyborg is resolutely committed to partiality, irony, intimacy, and perversity. It is oppositional, utopian, and completely without innocence. No longer structured by the polarity of public and private, the cyborg defines a technological polis based partly on a revolution of social relations in the oikos, the household.



The main trouble with cyborgs, of course, is that they are the illegitimate offspring of militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism. But illegitimate offspring are often exceedingly unfaithful to their origins. Their fathers, after all, are inessential.



find/follow Donna:

wikipedia small

Donna J. Haraway (born September 6, 1944) is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States. Haraway, a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, was described in the early 1990s as a “feminist, rather loosely a neo-Marxist and a postmodernist”. She is the author of numerous books and essays that bring together questions of science and feminism, such as “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” (1985) and Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective (1988).

Haraway has taught Women’s Studies and the History of Science at the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins University. In September 2000, Haraway was awarded the highest honor given by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), the J. D. Bernal Award, for lifetime contributions to the field. Haraway’s works have contributed to the study of both human-machine and human-animal relations. Her works have sparked debate in primatology,philosophy, and developmental biology. Haraway participated in a collaborative exchange with the eminent feminist theorist Lynn Randolph from 1990 to 1996. Their engagement with specific ideas relating to feminism, technoscience, political consciousness, and other social issues, formed the images and narrative of Haraway’s book


Haraway’s work has been criticized for being “methodologically vague” and using noticeably opaque language that is “sometimes concealing in an apparently deliberate way.” Several reviewers have argued that her understanding of the scientific method is questionable, and that her explorations of epistemology at times leave her texts virtually meaning-free

idiosyncratic jargon ness.. that’s our liminality/freedom.. no..?


some of the most common critiques of her view of science:

This is a book that contradicts itself a hundred times; but that is not a criticism of it, because its author thinks contradictions are a sign of intellectual ferment and vitality.


cyberg manifesto:

wikipedia small

A Cyborg Manifesto is an essay written by Donna Haraway. Haraway began writing the Manifesto in 1983 to address the Socialist Review request of American socialist feminists to ponder over the future of socialist feminism in the context of the early Reagan era and the decline of leftist politics. The first versions of the essay had a strong socialist and European connection that the Socialist Review East Coast Collective found too controversial to publish. The Berkeley Socialist Review Collective published the essay in 1985 under the editor Jeff Escoffier. The essay is most well known for being published in Donna Haraway’s 1991 book Simians, Cyborgs and Women.

In Donna Haraway’s essay, the concept of the cyborg is..

a rejection of rigid boundaries, notably those separating “human” from “animal” and “human” from “machine.”

She writes: “The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family, this time without the oedipal project. The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust.”

The Manifesto criticizes traditional notions of feminism, particularly feminist focuses on identity politics, and encouraging instead coalition through affinity. She uses the metaphor of a cyborg to urge feminists to move beyond the limitations of traditional gender, feminism, and politics

femin\ism nessness


Haraway highlights the problematic use and justification of Western traditions like patriarchy, colonialism, essentialism, and naturalism (among others). These traditions in turn allow for the problematic formations of taxonomies (and identifications of the Other) and what Haraway explains as “antagonistic dualisms” that order Western discourse. These dualisms, Haraway states, “have all been systematic to the logics and practices of domination of women, people of color, nature, workers, animals… all [those] constituted as others.” She highlights specific problematic dualisms of self/other, culture/nature, male/female, civilized/primitive, right/wrong, truth/illusion, total/partial, God/man (among others). She explains that these dualisms are in competition with one another, creating paradoxical relations of domination (especially between the One and the Other). However, high-tech culture provides a challenge to these antagonistic dualisms.

binary ness


Haraway’s cyborg theory rejects the notions of essentialism, proposing instead a chimeric, monstrous world of fusions between animal and machine. Cyborg theory relies on writing as “the technology of cyborgs,” and asserts that “cyborg politics is the struggle for language and the struggle against perfect communication, against the one code that translates all meaning perfectly, the central dogma of phallogocentrism.” Instead, Haraway’s cyborg calls for a non-essentialized, material-semiotic metaphor capable of uniting diffuse political coalitions along the lines of affinity rather than identity. …As Haraway explains, “grammar is politics by other means,” and effective politics require speaking in the language of domination.


Haraway suggests that feminists should move beyond naturalism and essentialism, criticizing feminist ..

tactics as “identity politics” that victimize those excluded, and she proposes that it is better strategically to confuse identities.


Haraway also calls for a reconstruction of identity, no longer dictated by naturalism and taxonomy but instead by affinity, wherein individuals can construct their own groups by choice. In this way, groups may construct a “post-modernist identity out of otherness, difference, and specificity” as a way to counter Western traditions of exclusive identification.

ie: we can do that by hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data.. as the day


Haraway is aware and receptive of the different uses of her concept of the cyborg, but admits “very few people are taking what I consider all of its parts”.

why we haven’t yet – partial ness


june 2014 – SF: String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, Staying with the Trouble (she starts at 10 min)


11 min – what happens when human exceptionalism and methodological individualism.. and their stories.. become literally unthinkable in the best scientific practices of our day.. and i’d say they are.. and i’d like to say what consequences might be … et al

staying with the trouble.. not possible without the practice of joy.. of collective/individual pleasure..

sympoetic systems.. no boundaries.. prone to surprise.. 1998 master thesis

15 min – mud/muddle – obscuring.. powers before astrolized..

chaos much more interesting..

16 min – 3 words – anthropocene :naming current epic.. prefaced on fossil fuels; capitalocene; chthulucene

21 min – always making some thoughts think other thoughts.. it matters what stories tell stories.. so holding some stories still in order to tell others in its frame..

22 min – the way stories normalize all others..

24 min – the way abstraction works as a lure.. far from being things that alienate.. from promise of fragility.. in their breaking.. desire for other abstractions .. activated..

25 min – hannah arendt – importance of thinking..  too many of us live lives that are  not thought

26 min – book called lines.. all creatures are interwoven wayfairers.. traces of lines/dwellings travel..

27 min – (key person to donna) ursula k le guin – book: the word for world is forest…. response-ability.. there is no use pretending, now, that we do not know how to kill one another…

29 min – the container.. that which is who we are.. that which can be given to another.. possibility of life worth living – le guin… what is it to join with another .. to create negative spaces that can hold something that can then be given.. sangers: to hold still enough.. so pattern can be taken up altered and passed on .. pattern in one’s hands and something must be done with it..

30 min – tom vandoren – flight ways.. to hold open space for another… labor.. and who’s labor keeps who alive

40 min – earth damage – anthropocene.. not species damage.. more from capitalism.. but that in self is sympoetic.. not complete..

[not done listening – left off about 50 min]


let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

a nother way

hosting life bits via self talk as data
Donna Haraway’s ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’: A Brief Overview

rather than women.. promoting a cyborg – as metaphor.. what getting at.. idea of 3rd party that bridges gaps and ignores typically boundaries…


from Bonnie – fb share

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for me, in the end, it always comes back to Haraway. especially now, when the potential of institutions AND networks all seems to be being eaten from within.

donna haraway

i got to give the opening keynote at #altc in Liverpool today. it was a heavy opener, a provocation meant to push three days of conversation. possibly we all needed a little more coffee. ;) but in the figure of the cyborg & situated knowledges lie the best tools i have for unpacking an era of confrontation & feeling constantly confronted, of trying to do good in a world that feeds us a steady diet of (monetized) outrage.

i think there’s a recording. i’ll put it in the comments. but here are the slides, for the time being…an artifact of their own accord.…/the-new-normal-confronting-wha…

from tweet stream:


that’s where the model of the cyborg has helped me most…trying to see small paths toward openness even in closed systems #LTHEChat #altc


in Paul Mason‘s clear bright future:


if there is a founding document of post humanism it is donna haraway’s cyborg manifest, published in 1984. it is written in jargon which looks deliberately designed to obscure meaning, but a short summary would be: tech has blurred the boundaries between humans and machines, while advances in biology suggest there is no important difference between humans and animals.. therefore we are all ‘hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs’


now said haraway, there was at best ambiguity as to whether humans are natural or artificial – and so the world merges in to a single reality, of which the cyborg and not the human being is the primary inhabitant. unlike human beings, haraway insisted, cyborgs are gender neutral

to avoid fragmentation (to help feminism) .. haraway wanted to set aside all the dualism on which revolts against oppression were based: mind vs body, nature vs machine, even man vs woman.. once we accept there is not significant diff between humans and machines, said haraway, we can stop looking for ‘revolutionary subjects’ full stop. ‘i would rather be a cyborg than a goddess’ she concluded

as a metaphor, the cyborg as a means for haraway to ask: how do we get out of the dead end that socialism, feminism, and black nationalism entered once they  started measuring all the forces fighting for social justice by how much the y oppressed each other..

but for post humanists the cyborg is more than a metaphor: it is a claim about reality.. if we have in reality become cyborgs.. then the upside for haraway is that all problems of alienation disappear


when haraway said she’d rather be cyborg than goddess.. she had one very clear cyborg in mind: rachael in blade runner who deckard refuses to kill.. rachael stands, said haraway ‘as the image of cyborg culture’s fear, love and confusion’.. who would not rather be rachael – beautiful, unfree and at one w the universe because she is incapable of feeling alienated?

but if you want the cyborg to be more than a metaphor , and to underpin the idea the humans and machines have become indistinguishable, you need a whole diff theory of reality. and that would be provided by the rise of magical thinking w/in science..