Accepted paper:

"... but the visual orientation of the mind persists". Of Kellerites, body talk and golden gypsies, so far: a journey to the inspirational roots of situated knowledges


Myriam Raboldt (KoMMa.G (TU Braunschweig))

Paper short abstract:

Donna Haraway not only draws inspiration from feminist but also from so-called mainstream science-fiction literature. How can reading those stories deepen our understandings of Haraway's concepts and inspire new ideas for integrating disability and gender studies into STS?

Paper long abstract:

Haraway's widely-received text "Situated Knowledges" has a permanent place in the canon of feminist science (criticism). Less attention is paid to her sources of inspiration. In a footnote of "the persistence of vision", Haraway states that her thoughts were mainly influenced by two science-fiction stories by John Varley. In my presentation, I would like to focus on those widely neglected stories and look for the traces they left in the 'situated knowledges'. As I myself have been referring to Varley's stories and Haraway's re-writing of them in my own research about gender&prosthetics a lot, I believe that through this analysis not only a deeper understanding of Haraway's concepts can be gained, but that it might also inspire new ideas for doing research at the intersection of STS, gender and disability studies in general. Especially given the fact that Haraway not only gets inspired from contents that "need to be re-written" but also draws from science-fiction on a conceptional level, e.g. she calls for the dissolution of the dichotomy of fact and fiction when revealing that she reads scientific texts as science-fiction. Once the view has been sharpened for links between Haraway's theories and science-fiction, one cannot help but notice those references all over her oeuvre. Together with the audience, I want to examine (or fabulate), why and how a dedicated feminist draws inspiration - not only, but also - from a literary source that is mainly known as the 'male-genre par excellence' and discuss the potential benefits of reading those sources ourselves.

panel B09
Feminist figures: crafting intersections in theory and practice