Our posthumanist points of exit
... are for instance the vulnerability and possibility of both strange and homely encounters, power relations, world- and word shaping practices. We take as our starting point that interdisciplinary approaches - such as those developed within feminist gender studies, postcolonial studies, queer theory, technoscience studies, popular engagements with science as well as in labs, in crip theory, and animal studies - already have changed the scope of the human sciences (the humanities and the social science). As humans are entangled in intricate relationships with technology and science, with animals and the environment, supremacist theories of the human, along with various humanisms and anthropocentric approaches, have become increasingly difficult to sustain. At the same time, we seem to urgently need an ethics so to be able to account for the effects, powers and impacts of anthropomorphism, for instance human-induced climate changes. The meanings and matters of the human condition and the various humanisms in circulation, and their critiques, are to some extent instructing us in this regard. Everyday life, cultural research, feminist theory and science in action, but also imaginative speculation and poetry may help us in this endevour. Both the onto-methodology, travelling theories, networked existence and ethos of the Posthumanities Hub can be strangely recognized by a poem from Ursula Le Guin's book Always Coming Home:
Please Bring Strange Things
Please bring strange things.
Please come bringing new things.
Let very old things come into your hands.
Let what you do not know come into your eyes.
Let desert sand harden your feet.
Let the arch of your feet be the mountains.
Let the paths of your fingertips be your maps
And the ways you go be the lines of your palms.
Let there be deep snow in your inbreathing
And your outbreath be the shining of ice.
May your mouth contain the shapes of strange words.
May you smell food cooking you have not eaten.
May the spring of a foreign river be your navel.
May your soul be at home where there are no houses.
Walk carefully, well-loved one,
Walk mindfully, well-loved one,
Walk fearlessly, well-loved one.
Return with us, return to us,
Be always coming home.
Research at The Posthumanities Hub rests on the assumption that the highly specialized analytical tools of the human sciences need to be recalibrated in order to meet up with changes in our society. They need to be applied to a wider set of such entangled phenomena, especially to emerging (trans)biologies, science cultures and embodied identities that challenge patterns of gender, age, ethnicity/race/nationality, class, kinship and sexuality. This does not imply neither a postfeminist nor a postbiological stance, but on the contrary, a both critical and creative framework for performative (generative) accounts of technoscientific or other naturecultural practices across disciplines and categories. We work in both allignment and difference to other post-conventional humanities research, like evvironmental humanities, digital humanities, medical humanities, and we definately try to contribute to, and develop our own form of, translational humanities.
With The Posthumanities Hub as meeting point, advanced transdisciplinary gender research takes place. It is research which systematically addresses the changing relations between the human and the non-human (animal, machine, milieu), the natural and the cultural, the popular and the scientific.
Distinguished Professor, Donna Haraway - also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of The Posthumanities Hub - provides a take on the need for scholars, activists and artists to move beyond humanism, anthropocentrism or what she (and Prof. Anna Tsing) call "human exceptionalism".
The 'posthumanities', however, seems to me a useful notion for tracking scholarly conversations
Donna Haraway 2008: 308.
'Human' is definitely not a neutral or innocent category, but a highly gendered and racialized one
Mette Bryld & Nina Lykke 2000: 33.
"Re-thinking the human sciences", see video lecture with Srinivas Aravamudan and Rosi Braidotti (2012)
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Translations of translations...
"Posthumanistiska nyckeltexter" (2012) - an introduction to, and translations of posthumanist keytexts by Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti, Karen Barad, Michel Callon, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Serres and Annemarie Mol - in Swedish.
Post-humanities issue of NORA
Read about posthumanist gender studies in the 2011:4 issue of
NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Transdisciplinary Seminars at the Gender Lab
For more information, please click here
By ’posthumanist’ I mean to signal the crucial recognition that nonhumans play an important role in naturalcultural practices, including everyday social practices, scientific practices, and practices that do not include humans. But also, beyond this, my use of posthumanism marks a refusal to take the distinction between ’human’ and ’nonhuman’ for granted, and to found analysis on this presumably fixed and inherent set of categories. Any such hardwiring precludes a geneological investigation into the practices through which humans and nonhumans are delineated and differently constituted. A posthumanist performative account worth its salt must also avoid cementing the nature-culture dichotomy into its foundations, thereby enabling a geneaological analysis of how these crucial distinctions are materially and discursively produced.
Karen Barad 2007: 32
About Gender Studies
Last updated: 2013-04-14