DONNA HARAWAY MODEST WITNESS PDF

Here was a piece that resonated with my political, feminist and moral values. Haraway was getting up close, magnifying and focusing on science, technology and socialist-feminism while contesting the "old world order. She insisted that we find new relationships to nature besides possession and reflection, and that we converse with wily coyotes. We are not innocent players and we must assume responsibility for constructing alternative cultures within our own specific environment. Haraway drew on metaphors and narratives and deconstructed myths to envision the alternatives. She recommended blasphemy, irony and humor as the means toward a comprehensive subversion of the cultural practices surrounding science, technology, and socialist-feminism as she dismantled and reassembled their codes.

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For Haraway, the Manifesto offered a response to the rising conservatism during the s in the United States at a critical juncture at which feminists, in order to have any real-world significance, had to acknowledge their situatedness within what she terms the "informatics of domination.

To ground her argument, Haraway analyzes the phrase "women of color", suggesting it as one possible example of affinity politics. Using a term coined by theorist Chela Sandoval, Haraway writes that "oppositional consciousness" is comparable with a cyborg politics, because rather than identity it stresses how affinity comes as a result of "otherness, difference, and specificity".

Her new versions of beings reject Western humanist conceptions of personhood and promote a disembodied world of information and the withering of subjectivity. The collective consciousness of the beings and their limitless access to information provide the tools with which to create a world of immense socio-political change through altruism and affinity, not biological unity.

In her essay Haraway challenges the liberal human subject and its lack of concern for collective desires which leaves the possibility for wide corruption and inequality in the world. A world of beings with a type of shared knowledge could create a powerful political force towards positive change. Cyborgs can see "from both perspectives at once. Haraway explains that her "Manifesto" is "an effort to build an ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism.

Haraway creates an analogy using current technologies and information to imagine a world with a collective coalition that had the capabilities to create grand socio-political change. Interweaving ideas that were playful and imaginative with an incisive critique of the totalizing essentialism that was the ironic hallmark of the myriad strands of the second-wave feminist movement — encompassing, but not limited to, Marxist, psychoanalytic and radical feminist approaches — Haraway conscientiously articulates the politics of a monstrous creature of the post-gender world: the cyborg.

Haraway offers a critique of the feminist intervention into masculinized traditions of scientific rhetoric and the concept of objectivity. The essay identifies the metaphor that gives shape to the traditional feminist critique as a polarization.

At one end lies those who would assert that science is a rhetorical practice and, as such, all "science is a contestable text and a power field". Haraway posits that by acknowledging and understanding the contingency of their own position in the world, and hence the contestable nature of their claims to knowledge, subjects can produce knowledge with greater objectivity than if they claimed to be neutral observers.

In Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science , she focused on the metaphors and narratives that direct the science of primatology. She asserted that there is a tendency to masculinize the stories about "reproductive competition and sex between aggressive males and receptive females [that] facilitate some and preclude other types of conclusions". Drawing on examples of Western narratives and ideologies of gender , race and class , Haraway questioned the most fundamental constructions of scientific human nature stories based on primates.

In Primate Visions, she wrote: "My hope has been that the always oblique and sometimes perverse focusing would facilitate revisionings of fundamental, persistent western narratives about difference, especially racial and sexual difference; about reproduction, especially in terms of the multiplicities of generators and offspring; and about survival, especially about survival imagined in the boundary conditions of both the origins and ends of history, as told within western traditions of that complex genre".

In a publication, she remarked: I want feminists to be enrolled more tightly in the meaning-making processes of technoscientific world-building. I also want feminist—activists, cultural producers, scientists, engineers, and scholars all overlapping categories — to be recognized for the articulations and enrollment we have been making all along within technoscience, in spite of the ignorance of most "mainstream" scholars in their characterization or lack of characterizations of feminism in relation to both technoscientific practice and technoscience studies.

This is a book that systematically distorts and selects historical evidence; but that is not a criticism, because its author thinks that all interpretations are biased, and she regards it as her duty to pick and choose her facts to favor her own brand of politics. This is a book full of vaporous, French-intellectual prose that makes Teilhard de Chardin sound like Ernest Hemingway by comparison; but that is not a criticism, because the author likes that sort of prose and has taken lessons in how to write it, and she thinks that plain, homely speech is part of a conspiracy to oppress the poor.

This is a book that clatters around in a dark closet of irrelevancies for pages before it bumps accidentally into its index and stops; but that is not a criticism, either, because its author finds it gratifying and refreshing to bang unrelated facts together as a rebuke to stuffy minds.

This book infuriated me; but that is not a defect in it, because it is supposed to infuriate people like me, and the author would have been happier still if I had blown out an artery. In short, this book is flawless, because all its deficiencies are deliberate products of art. Given its assumptions, there is nothing here to criticize. Neologisms are continually coined, and sentences are paragraph-long and convoluted. Biography, history, propaganda, science, science fiction, and cinema are intertwined in the most confusing way.

Perhaps the idea is to induce a slightly dissociated state, so that readers can be lulled into belief. If one did not already possess some background, this book would give no lucid history of anthropology or primatology. However, a review in the Journal of the History of Biology disagrees: [41] Primate Visions is one of the most important books to come along in the last twenty years.

Historians of science have begun to write more externalist histories, acknowledging the possibilities of a science profoundly integrated with ongoing social agenda. The book is important to students of science, feminists, historians, and anyone else interested in how the complex systems of race, gender, and science intertwine to produce supposedly objective versions of the "truth.

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File:Haraway Donna J Modest Witness Second Millennium 1997.pdf

Witnessing the Culture of No Culture Haraway as an Oncomouse While Haraway demonstrates a number of very important insights about technology in science, or technoscience, my overall reaction was a troubled feeling, a small curl of dread slipping through my stomach. My disagreement was the use of large macro-processes of religion, capitalism, science, and advertisement to unabashedly reflect the meaning of the world for the individual. I may also be critiquing the wrong elements of this work, leaving the ability to see the interconnections of the way Haraway is at times both objective and subjective in her work2 Latour Yet I can not begin to talk of the good in this text without first warning the reader.

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Modest Witness

This is the virtue that guarantees that the modest witness is the legitimate and authorized ventriloquist for the object world, adding nothing from his mere opinions, from his biasing embodiment. And so he is endowed with the remarkable power to establish the facts. He bears witness: he is objective; he guarantees the clarity and purity of objects. His subjectivity is his objectivity. His narratives have a magical power — they lose all trace of their history as stories, as products of partisan projects, as contestable representations, or as constructed documents in their potent capacity to define the facts. The narratives become clear mirrors, fully magical mirrors, without once appealing to the transcendental or the magical.

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Donna Haraway

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