Biocultural Creatures

Author: Samantha Frost
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822374358
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Biocultural Creatures, Samantha Frost brings feminist and political theory together with findings in the life sciences to recuperate the category of the human for politics. Challenging the idea of human exceptionalism as well as other theories of subjectivity that rest on a distinction between biology and culture, Frost proposes that humans are biocultural creatures who quite literally are cultured within the material, social, and symbolic worlds they inhabit. Through discussions about carbon, the functions of cell membranes, the activity of genes and proteins, the work of oxygen, and the passage of time, Frost recasts questions about the nature of matter, identity, and embodiment. In doing so, she elucidates the imbrication of the biological and cultural within the corporeal self. In remapping the relation of humans to their habitats and arriving at the idea that humans are biocultural creatures, Frost provides new theoretical resources for responding to political and environmental crises and for thinking about how to transform the ways we live.

Animal Oppression and Human Violence

Author: David Nibert
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231151896
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Jared Diamond and other leading scholars have argued that the domestication of animals for food, labor, and tools of war has advanced the development of human society. But by comparing practices of animal exploitation for food and resources in different societies over time, David A. Nibert reaches a strikingly different conclusion. He finds in the domestication of animals, which he renames "domesecration," a perversion of human ethics, the development of large-scale acts of violence, disastrous patterns of destruction, and growth-curbing epidemics of infectious disease. Nibert centers his study on nomadic pastoralism and the development of commercial ranching, a practice that has been largely controlled by elite groups and expanded with the rise of capitalism. Beginning with the pastoral societies of the Eurasian steppe and continuing through to the exportation of Western, meat-centered eating habits throughout today's world, Nibert connects the domesecration of animals to violence, invasion, extermination, displacement, enslavement, repression, pandemic chronic disease, and hunger. In his view, conquest and subjugation were the results of the need to appropriate land and water to maintain large groups of animals, and the gross amassing of military power has its roots in the economic benefits of the exploitation, exchange, and sale of animals. Deadly zoonotic diseases, Nibert shows, have accompanied violent developments throughout history, laying waste to whole cities, societies, and civilizations. His most powerful insight situates the domesecration of animals as a precondition for the oppression of human populations, particularly indigenous peoples, an injustice impossible to rectify while the material interests of the elite are inextricably linked to the exploitation of animals. Nibert links domesecration to some of the most critical issues facing the world today, including the depletion of fresh water, topsoil, and oil reserves; global warming; and world hunger, and he reviews the U.S. government's military response to the inevitable crises of an overheated, hungry, resource-depleted world. Most animal-advocacy campaigns reinforce current oppressive practices, Nibert argues. Instead, he suggests reforms that challenge the legitimacy of both domesecration and capitalism.

Feminist Science Studies

Author: Maralee Mayberry
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415926966
Format: PDF
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This essential text contains contributions from a wide range of fields and provides role models for feminist scientists. Including chapters from scientists and feminist scholars, the book presents a wide range of feminist science studies scholarship-from autobiographical narratives and experimental and theoretical projects, to teaching tools and courses and community-based projects.

New Materialisms

Author: Diana Coole
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822392992
Format: PDF, ePub
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New Materialisms brings into focus and explains the significance of the innovative materialist critiques that are emerging across the social sciences and humanities. By gathering essays that exemplify the new thinking about matter and processes of materialization, this important collection shows how scholars are reworking older materialist traditions, contemporary theoretical debates, and advances in scientific knowledge to address pressing ethical and political challenges. In the introduction, Diana Coole and Samantha Frost highlight common themes among the distinctive critical projects that comprise the new materialisms. The continuities they discern include a posthumanist conception of matter as lively or exhibiting agency, and a reengagement with both the material realities of everyday life and broader geopolitical and socioeconomic structures. Coole and Frost argue that contemporary economic, environmental, geopolitical, and technological developments demand new accounts of nature, agency, and social and political relationships; modes of inquiry that privilege consciousness and subjectivity are not adequate to the task. New materialist philosophies are needed to do justice to the complexities of twenty-first-century biopolitics and political economy, because they raise fundamental questions about the place of embodied humans in a material world and the ways that we produce, reproduce, and consume our material environment. Contributors Sara Ahmed Jane Bennett Rosi Braidotti Pheng Cheah Rey Chow William E. Connolly Diana Coole Jason Edwards Samantha Frost Elizabeth Grosz Sonia Kruks Melissa A. Orlie

Building a New Biocultural Synthesis

Author: Alan H. Goodman
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472066063
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Shows the potential for a reintegrated, critical, and politically relevant biocultural anthropology

Security in the Anthropocene

Author: Cameron Harrington
Publisher: transcript Verlag
ISBN: 3839433371
Format: PDF
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The belief that »Nature« exists as a blank, stable stage upon which humans act out tragic performances of international relations is no longer tenable. In a world defined by human action, we must reorient our understanding of ourselves, of our environment, and our security. This book considers how decentred and reflexive approaches to security are required to cope with the Anthropocene - the Human Age. Drawing from various disciplines, this bold reinterpretation explores the possibilities for understanding and preparing a future that will look vastly different than the past. The book asks to dig deeper into what it means to be human and secure in an age of ecological exception. "In a growing field of interdisciplinary work on the Anthropocene, 'Security in the Anthropocene' sets itself apart. It blends ideas from criminology, international security studies and the environmental humanities to provide unique interdisciplinary insight into the challenges of living on an increasingly turbulent earth." - Audra Mitchell, Balsillie School of International Affairs/Wilfrid Laurier University "This essential, groundbreaking book offers a new conceptual framework that recalibrates what security means in the Anthropocene. Not content on simply highlighting the state of crisis fostered by existential risks in this new era, Cameron Harrington and Clifford Shearing invite us to imagine a more positive and caring form of security." - Benoit Dupont, University of Montreal "Harrington and Shearing's fine book explores evocatively how humans might cope with a world that is fundamentally changed through a critical appraisal of how new impacts on the Earth system shift the conditions of security. This is a tour de force of how our concepts of security create the world that afflicts us. The authors argue, convincingly, that there can be no security in the Anthropocene without an expanded vision of care." -John Braithwaite, Australian National University

Political Biology

Author: M. Meloni
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137377720
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book explores the socio-political implications of human heredity from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present postgenomic moment. It addresses three main phases in the politicization of heredity: the peak of radical eugenics (1900-1945), characterized by an aggressive ethos of supporting the transformation of human society via biological knowledge; the repositioning, after 1945, of biological thinking into a liberal-democratic, human rights framework; and the present postgenomic crisis in which the genome can no longer be understood as insulated from environmental signals. In Political Biology, Maurizio Meloni argues that thanks to the ascendancy of epigenetics we may be witnessing a return to soft heredity - the idea that these signals can cause changes in biology that are themselves transferable to succeeding generations. This book will be of great interest to scholars across science and technology studies, the philosophy and history of science, and political and social theory.

Who Speaks for Nature

Author: Laura Ephraim
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812294688
Format: PDF, Mobi
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When natural scientists speak up in public about the material phenomena they have observed, measured, and analyzed in the lab or the field, they embody a distinctive version of political authority. Where does science derive its remarkably resilient, though often contested, capacity to give voice to nature? What efforts on the part of scientists and nonscientists alike determine who is regarded as a legitimate witness to material reality and whose speech is discounted as idle chatter, mere opinion, or noise? In Who Speaks for Nature?, Laura Ephraim reveals the roots of scientific authority in what she calls "world-building politics": the collection of practices through which scientists and citizens collaborate with and struggle against each other to engage natural things and events and to construct a shared yet heterogeneous world. Through innovative readings of some of the most important thinkers of science and politics of the near and distant past, including René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Giambattista Vico, and Hannah Arendt, Ephraim argues that the natural sciences are political because they are crucial sites in which the worldly relationships that bind together the human and nonhuman are inherited, augmented, and reconstructed. Who Speaks for Nature? opens a novel conversation between political theory, science, and technology studies and augments existing efforts by feminists, environmentalists, and democratic theorists to challenge the traditional binary separating nature and politics. In an age of climate change and climate-change denial, Ephraim brings theoretical understandings of politics to bear on real-world events and decisions and uncovers fresh insights into the place of scientists in public life.

The Biopolitics of Feeling

Author: Kyla Schuller
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822372355
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In The Biopolitics of Feeling Kyla Schuller unearths the forgotten, multiethnic sciences of impressibility—the capacity to be transformed by one's environment and experiences—to uncover how biopower developed in the United States. Schuller challenges prevalent interpretations of biopower and literary cultures to reveal how biopower emerged within the discourses and practices of sentimentalism. Through analyses of evolutionary theories, gynecological sciences, abolitionist poetry and other literary texts, feminist tracts, child welfare reforms, and black uplift movements, Schuller excavates a vast apparatus that regulated the capacity of sensory and emotional feeling in an attempt to shape the evolution of the national population. Her historical and theoretical work exposes the overlooked role of sex difference in population management and the optimization of life, illuminating how models of binary sex function as one of the key mechanisms of racializing power. Schuller thereby overturns long-accepted frameworks of the nature of race and sex difference, offers key corrective insights to modern debates surrounding the equation of racism with determinism and the liberatory potential of ideas about the plasticity of the body, and reframes contemporary notions of sentiment, affect, sexuality, evolution, and heredity.

Can Science Resolve the Nature Nurture Debate

Author: Margaret Lock
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745690009
Format: PDF
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Following centuries of debate about "nature and nurture" the discovery of DNA established the idea that nature (genes) determines who we are, relegating nurture (environment) to icing on the cake. Since the 1950s, the new science of epigenetics has demonstrated how cellular environments and certain experiences and behaviors influence gene expression at the molecular level, with significant implications for health and wellbeing. To the amazement of scientists, mapping the human genome indirectly supported these insights. Anthropologists Margaret Lock and Gisli Palsson outline vituperative arguments from Classical times about the relationship between nature and nurture, furthered today by epigenetic findings and the demonstration of a "reactive genome." The nature/nurture debate, they show, can never be put to rest, because these concepts are in constant flux in response to the new insights science continually offers.