Butler, Hayles, Haraway
Publication Year: 2012
As exemplary representatives of a form of critical feminism, the writings of Judith Butler, Katherine Hayles, and Donna Haraway offer entry into the great crises of contemporary society, politics, and culture. Butler leads readers to rethink the boundaries of the human in a time of perpetual war. Hayles turns herself into a “writing machine” in order to find a dwelling place for the digital humanities within the austere landscape of the culture of the code. Haraway is the one contemporary thinker to have begun the necessary ethical project of creating a new language of potential reconciliation among previously warring species.
According to Arthur Kroker, the postmodernism of Judith Butler, the posthumanism of Katherine Hayles, and the companionism of Donna Haraway are possible pathways to the posthuman future that is captured by the specter of body drift. Body drift refers to the fact that individuals no longer inhabit a body, in any meaningful sense of the term, but rather occupy a multiplicity of bodies: gendered, sexualized, laboring, disciplined, imagined, and technologically augmented.
Body drift is constituted by the blast of information culture envisioned by artists, communicated by social networking, and signified by its signs. It is lived daily by remixing, resplicing, and redesigning the codes: codes of gender, sexuality, class, ideology, and identity. The writings of Butler, Hayles, and Haraway, Kroker reveals, provide the critical vocabulary and political context for understanding the deep complexities of body drift and challenging the current emphasis on the material body.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright
I am deeply appreciative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for research support (Digital Inflections) that was vital to the completion of this manuscript. My appointment as a Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture...
1. Body Drift
Though it was anticipated that the speed and intensity of technological change would effectively marginalize concern with the body, highlighting the digital rather than the corporeal, subordinating human flesh to data flesh, quite the opposite has occurred. Images...
2. Contingencies: Nietzsche in Drag in the Theater of Judith Butler
Resisting the most powerful political currents of the times, breaking decisively with the regulatory regime of normativity, speaking eloquently, passionately, historically about another ethics, another body, another space, Butler injects into contemporary...
3. Complexities: The Posthuman Subject of Katherine Hayles
With the writings of Katherine Hayles, complexity theory is transformed from its origins in the scientific epistēmē, becoming the basis of a worldview that not only grounds the study of electronic textuality in a “new materialism” but also transforms the concept...
4. Hybridities: Donna Haraway and Bodies of Paradox
There is a painting by the Canadian artist Alex Colville that powerfully captures, although in reverse image, the theoretical imagination of Donna Haraway. Titled Horse and Train, the painting registers an approaching collision of two radically dissimilar forces—the...
Epilogue: Bodies and Power
The writings of Butler, Hayles, and Haraway are at the epicenter of contemporary political debate. Not only have they explored in theoretical detail the framework of contemporary subjectivity, whether cast in the language of gender, computation, or genomic...