Accepted paper:

"I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess": the meeting place/time of the spiral dance


Joan Haran (Cardiff University)

Paper short abstract:

Haraway's "Cyborg Manifesto" concludes: "Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." This paper interrogates the figure of the spiral dance as a meeting place/time for the cyborg and the goddess and for feminist studies of technoscience and ecofeminism.

Paper long abstract:

In the "Cyborg Manifesto", Haraway suggests that: "Ironically, it might be the unnatural cyborg women making chips in Asia and spiral dancing in Santa Rita jail* whose constructed unities will guide effective oppositional strategies. Spiral dancing is a ritual practice associated with Starhawk and her work on feminist earth-based spirituality and non violent direct action, The Spiral Dance (1979). This paper interrogates amnesia around Haraway's linkage of the spiral dance with unnatural cyborg women. It gives an account of the choreography and ritual of a spiral dance in order to draw out its utility as a figure for movement-building in relation to ecofeminism and feminist studies of technoscience. The paper also draws out the ways in which the work - authorial, pedagogical and political - of Starhawk and Haraway continues to meet in a spiral dance that inspires and informs oppositional strategies in relation to social and environmental justice. To what extent do Starhawk's "Earth Activist Training" and Haraway's "The Camille Stories", for example, invite and incite participation in effective oppositional strategies?

panel B09
Feminist figures: crafting intersections in theory and practice