Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto”

Haraway, Donna J.”The Cyborg Manifesto” The Haraway Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003. (34 pages)

Haraway’s concept of cyborg is a metaphor—rooted in science fiction—for her to talk about hybridity in society in the late 20th century. Because of its hybridity, Haraway aligns it closely with Feminism; she writes, “the cyborg is our ontology: it gives us our politics” (292). The cyborg serves as an ontological basis for the re-examination of politics through the lens of irony, confusion, and opposition. As it embodies these principles of dissonance, the cyborg also resists the humanist myth of unity, which has emerged from mythical origin stories surrounding humanity.

She begins by point to three levels of distinctions whose boundaries have broken down in the late 20th century: (1) the boundary between human and animal; (2) the boundary between animal-human and machine; and (3) the boundary between the physical and non-physical, the latter distinction is in reference to For feminism, the blurring of boundaries is also an argument against essentialism and, thus, forming a feminisit ideology whose basis is “natural identification” that fractures feminist “along every possible fault line” (296). Instead, rather, she desires to confuse identities and develop a collation based on affinity, “of political kinship” (296). The work of the cyborg is dne through writing that can reconstitute question of identity, embodiment, and culture. Writing is especially powerful for women of color, who exemplify the cyborg epistemology. Who have historically been denied access to literacy and have gained literacy at great political, social, and personal costs. This literacy, through, does not strive to reach unity through common language.

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