Academics Science! Speculations Technology [reading list]
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Since finishing the MA back in September, I seem to have been slipping sideways into the cultures and ethnography of the biological (loosely defined), as the flip side of Haraway’s cyborg theory. Currently chewing my way through any number of articles on synthetic/marine/astro biology, and multispecies ethnography, I’ve thrown together this – partial – reading list as a way of structuring my research.
‘I am a creature of the mud, not the sky. I am a biologist who has always found edification in the amazing abilities of slime to hold things in touch and to lubricate passages for living beings and their parts. I love the fact that human genomes can be found in only about 10 percent of all the cells that occupy the mundane space I call my body; the other 90 percent of the cells are filled with the genomes of bacteria, fungi, protists, and such, some of which play in a symphony necessary to my being alive at all, and some of which are hitching a ride and doing the rest of me, of us, no harm. I am vastly outnumbered by my tiny companions; better put, I become an adult human being in company with these tiny messmates. To be one is always to become with many.’
– Donna Haraway (2008), When Species Meet (University of Minnesota Press) , pp. 3-4.
‘So far, microbes have been described as bearers of important messages, as in need of protection from contamination, as versatile, as possibly chimerical, as invasive, as smelly, and as shit bugs. If not strictly taboo, microbes are certainly objects of interest and anxiety; their relations to humans matter to these scientists. And they come to matter precisely through their manifestation as media—as symbolic intermediaries between human selves and an oceanic other, as material things whose functions can be investigated as biomedia.’
– Stefan Helmreich (2009), Alien Ocean (University of California Press), p. 58.
‘Any search for a shadow biosphere must consider the role of ecological niches and address the issue of why standard life could not/did not invade and conquer the locales harboring weird life.’
– P.C.W. Davies et. al. (2009), ‘Signatures of a Shadow Biosphere’, Astrobiology, Vol. 9 (2), p. 242.
… weird life, culture(s) beyond the human, xenobiologies (artificial or extraterrestrial), cross-species politics, geoengineering, FOXP2, protocells, biofilm, bios/zoe, Cetacean personhood, ‘Blue-Green capitalism’, the bureaucracy of the hive, Lovelock/Lovecraft, the possibilities of uplift …
- Thrilling Wonder Stories II — Rachel Armstrong; Geoff Manaugh & Nicola Twilley; Dunne & Raby
- ‘Signatures of a Shadow Biosphere‘ (2009), Astrobiology 9(2), P.C.W. Davies et. al.
- ‘Mars, Media, and Metamorphosis‘ (2010), Culture Machine 11, Sarah Kember
- Cultural Anthropology 25:4 (2010), various
- ‘The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography’, S. Eben Kirksey & Stefan Helmreich
- ‘Fingeryeyes: Impressions of Cup Corals’, Eva Hayward
- ‘Viral Clouds: Becoming H5N1 in Indonesia’, Celia Lowe
- ‘Ecologies of Empire: On the New Uses of the Honeybee’, Jake Kosek
- When Species Meet (2008), Donna Haraway
- ‘Staying with the Trouble: Becoming Worldly with Companion Species‘, Donna Haraway