Feminism, Socialism, and Cyborgs; Oh My!

Monday June 27 6-8 pm
at the Harold Washington Library
6th Floor South Study Room

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Drinks, food, or coffee will be shared after–kinda like a celebration of getting through the 2 texts on a Monday.

Please Read:

“A Cyborg Manifesto” by Dona Haraway

&

“Critique” Chapter 3 in Nietzsche and Philosophy by Gilles Deleuze. Also available in Drew Milne’s Modern Critical Thought.

That’s right: Cyborgs and Critical Theory

Donna Haraway’s essay “A Cyborg Manifesto” just might be everything you wanted in a critical theory text: cyborgs, socialism, feminism…yep that’s everything.

But wait! There’s more!

In addition to this essay, we will read Gilles Deleuze’s “Critique.” Deleuze’s take on Nietzsche and Kant will inform the way we discuss Haraway’s part in the confusing discourse that we call critical theory.

For this discussion we will mostly be working toward a better understanding of the texts and critical theory as a discourse, but keep asking yourself how this is useful for our community as that will conclude our discussion.

Book Discussion – Agenda and Summary

Feminism, Socialism, and Cyborgs; Oh My!

We will discuss Donna Haraway’s “A Cyborg Manifesto” 2000

and an essay by Gilles Deleuze about Nietzsche, Kant, and Critique 1984

Agenda:

  • Discuss our interpretations of Deleuze’s text
  • Discuss our interpretations of Haraway’s text
  • Ask: Is this useful? Why? How? What do we do now?

Purpose:

To continue to understand what “critical theory” is and practice understanding the often strange texts that can fall under this broad and loose category.

Summary of Deleuze

By explaining Nietzsche’s view on Kant, science, critique, and the will to power, we see what Deleuze’s work strives for as well. The will to power is the will to creates new values, not the will that desires power which is defined by existing values. Critique is “not justification but a different way of feeling: another sensibility”.  The goal of Nietzsche, Deleuze, and (according to Deleuze) critical theory is evaluating and interpreting everything to create new values and ways of being in the world.

Summary of Haraway

Haraway is critiquing feminism and capitalism through another sensibility. “Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction.” So too is a cyborg – a creature of social reality as well as fiction.

The boundaries between human and animal, and organic and machine, are rapidly disappearing or are blurred to the point o f bringing unease. The cyborg myth subverts organic wholes, certainty is undermined, and “the transcendent authorization of interpretation is lost, and with it the ontology grounding “Western” epistemology.”

Cyborg imagery/myth expresses:

  1. A totalizing theory  does not account for a totality of reality
  2. To work toward understanding social relations of science and technology allow for us to reconstruct boundaries in communication with all of our parts.
  3. A way out of dualisms with “powerful infidel heteroglossia.”
  4. Similar to a postmodern self – fragmented and alienated in late capitalism
  5. Brings intersectionality to the female experience for ontological, epistemological, and political reasons

Potentially relevant and fun-  Adventure Time and 3rd wave feminism:

 

And yes, the featured image is from StarCraft. You're welcome.

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