ahorbinski: My Marxist-feminist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.  (marxism + feminism --> posthumanism)
Bibliographic Data: Allison, Anne. “The Cool Brand, Affective Activism, and Japanese Youth." Theory, Culture & Society 26 (2009): 89-111.

Main Argument: The rhetoric of "J-Cool" signifies a transformation in the Japanese economy and in Japanese and society, masking a double phenomenon in discourse: "when a construct of youth sells commodities, it is claimed as 'gross national cool.' But when real youth fail to get steady jobs or reproduce, as did their parents, they are castigated for not assuring Japan's future–what gets rendered as a crisis in reproduction" (91). Allison argues that immaterial labor, which comprises two forms ("labor that is primarily intellectual or computational, involving symbols, ideas and codes" and "affective labor that engages affects such as well-being excitement and ease") in its affective form is epitomized by J-Cool. But the new form of capitalism--informational capitalism--that immaterial labor exemplifies and that is hegemonic in the 21st century is deconstructive and destructive of previously solid constructs such as the family and the social safety net, leaving youth in Japan (and all over the world) in an increasingly precaritized position. Allison looks at youth activism in Japan and argues that affective labor can also be thought as "biopower from below;" precisely because affective labor involves the stuff of being human (vita breva aka ὀ βἰος, not just vita nuda aka ἠ ζωἠ), affective labor can allow citizens to forge connections among atomized individuals that can replace and supplement the caring deficit which characterizes society in the C21.

Critical assessment: This is, frankly, a much better work than Millennial Monsters, which was far too anthropological and far too seduced by culturalist explanations. Here, Allison correctly follows the breadcrumbs to capitalism and its discontents, and does a much better job of illuminating the promises and potentials of things like Pokémon and the youth who consume them and who constitute Japan's (and the world's) precariat.

Bibliographic Data: Haraway, Donna. "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, technology, and socialist-feminism in the late twentieth century." The cybercultures reader (2000): 291-324.

Main Argument: Haraway argues for a "cyborg feminism" that will be provisional, ironic, political, postmodern, non-totalizing, and makes two arguments:
…first, the production of universal, totalizing theory is a major mistake that misses most of reality, probably always, but certainly now; and second, taking responsibility for the social relations of science and technology means refusing an anti-science metaphysics, a demonology of technology, and so means embracing the skillful tasks of reconstructing the boundaries of daily life, in partial connection with others, in communication with all of our parts. It is not just that science and technology are possible means of great human satisfaction, as well as a matrix of complex dominations. Cyborg imagery can suggest a way out of the maze of dualisms in which we have explained our bodies and our tools to ourselves. This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful infidel heteroglossia. It is an imagination of a feminist speaking in tongues to strike fear into the circuits of the supersavers of the new right. It means both building and destroying machines, identities, categories, relationships, space stories. Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess. (316)

Bibliographic Data: Svensson, Patrik. “The Landscape of Digital Humanities.” Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol 4, no. 1 (2010).

Main Argument: Svensson lays out the current landscape of the digital humanities--its tensions, and some of its divides (i.e. between humanities computing versus digital humanities, between assimilation and distinction)--and considers the digital humanities via various paradigmatic modes of engagement between the humanities and information technology, namely as a tool, a study object, an expressive medium, an exploratory laboratory, and an activist venue: "the mapping activity itself is as important as the resultant patchy map, however, and it is argued that the challenges and possibilities ahead call for a shared awareness and rich collaborations across the landscape of the digital humanities" (11). A new distinction that Svensson identifies is the growth of the term "digital humanist(s)," which are apparently "more commonly used in relation to the digital as tool (and the humanities computing tradition) than the digital as study object;" furthermore, "people in the digital humanities may seem to have a stronger sense of the humanities as a conostucrt and as a whole since they often operate across several disciplines and since their position and identity are more strongly linked to the humanities at large" (53). In sum, "the current landscape is multifaceted and characterized by a range of epistemic traditions and modes of engagement, and while there is a great deal of overlap and common interests, there is also a need of increased shared awareness" (176).
ahorbinski: hulk smash male privilege! (hulk smash male privilege)
Taught to read and write inside the stories of Christian salvation history and technoscientific progress, I am neither heretic, infidel, nor Jew, but I am a marked woman informed by those literacies as well as by those given to me by birth and education. Shaped as an insider and an outsider to the hegemonic powers and discourses of my European and North American legacies, I remember that anti-Semitism and misogyny intensified in the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution of early modern Europe, that racism and colonialism flourished in the traveling habits of the cosmopolitan Enlightenment, and that the intensified misery of billions of men and women seems organically rooted in the freedoms of transnational capitalism and technoscience. But I also remember the dreams and achievements of contingent freedoms, situated knowledges, and relief of suffering that are inextricable from this contaminated triple historical heritage. I remain a child of the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and technoscience. My modest witness cannot ever be simply oppositional. Rather, s/he is suspicious, implicated, knowing, ignorant, worried, and hopeful. Inside the net of stories, agencies, and instruments that constitute technoscience, s/he is committed to learning how to avoid both the narratives and realities of the Net that threaten her world at the end of the Second Christian Millennium. S/he is seeking to learn and practice the mixed literacies and differential consciousness that are more faithful to the way the world, including the world of technoscience, actually works.

--Donna Haraway, Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.
FemaleMan©_Meets_OncoMouse™: Feminism and Technoscience


ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

August 2017

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