Refiguring Life

Metaphors of Twentieth-century Biology

Author: Evelyn Fox Keller

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231102056

Category: Science

Page: 134

View: 3981

This text continues the author's study of how 'scientific technique is both contributor to and product of discourse'. It focuses on gender and, in particular, analyzes how the metaphors of information and communication technology affect biological research, especially in the field of genetics.
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Who Wrote the Book of Life?

A History of the Genetic Code

Author: Lily E. Kay

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804734172

Category: Science

Page: 441

View: 542

This is a detailed history of one of the most important and dramatic episodes in modern science, recounted from the novel vantage point of the dawn of the information age and its impact on representations of nature, heredity, and society. Drawing on archives, published sources, and interviews, the author situates work on the genetic code (1953-70) within the history of life science, the rise of communication technosciences (cybernetics, information theory, and computers), the intersection of molecular biology with cryptanalysis and linguistics, and the social history of postwar Europe and the United States. Kay draws out the historical specificity in the process by which the central biological problem of DNA-based protein synthesis came to be metaphorically represented as an information code and a writing technology—and consequently as a “book of life.” This molecular writing and reading is part of the cultural production of the Nuclear Age, its power amplified by the centuries-old theistic resonance of the “book of life” metaphor. Yet, as the author points out, these are just metaphors: analogies, not ontologies. Necessary and productive as they have been, they have their epistemological limitations. Deploying analyses of language, cryptology, and information theory, the author persuasively argues that, technically speaking, the genetic code is not a code, DNA is not a language, and the genome is not an information system (objections voiced by experts as early as the 1950s). Thus her historical reconstruction and analyses also serve as a critique of the new genomic biopower. Genomic textuality has become a fact of life, a metaphor literalized, she claims, as human genome projects promise new levels of control over life through the meta-level of information: control of the word (the DNA sequences) and its editing and rewriting. But the author shows how the humbling limits of these scriptural metaphors also pose a challenge to the textual and material mastery of the genomic “book of life.”
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After God

Author: Mark C. Taylor

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226791726

Category: Religion

Page: 416

View: 7463

Religion, Mark C. Taylor argues in After God, is more complicated than either its defenders or critics think and, indeed, is much more influential than any of us realize. Our world, Taylor maintains, is shaped by religion even when it is least obvious. Faith and value, he insists, are unavoidable and inextricably interrelated for believers and nonbelievers alike. The first comprehensive theology of culture since the pioneering work of Paul Tillich, After God redefines religion for our contemporary age. This volumeis a radical reconceptualization of religion and Taylor’s most pathbreaking work yet, bringing together various strands of theological argument and cultural analysis four decades in the making. Praise for Mark C. Taylor “The distinguishing feature of Taylor’s career is a fearless, or perhaps reckless, orientation to the new and to whatever challenges orthodoxy. . . . Taylor’s work is playful, perverse, rarefied, ingenious, and often brilliant.”—New York Times Magazine
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The Global Genome

Biotechnology, Politics, and Culture

Author: Eugene Thacker

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262250306

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 4918

How global biotechnology is redefining "life itself." In the age of global biotechnology, DNA can exist as biological material in a test tube, as a sequence in a computer database, and as economically valuable information in a patent. In The Global Genome, Eugene Thacker asks us to consider the relationship of these three entities and argues that—by their existence and their interrelationships—they are fundamentally redefining the notion of biological life itself. Biological science and the biotech industry are increasingly organized at a global level, in large part because of the use of the Internet in exchanging biological data. International genome sequencing efforts, genomic databases, the development of World Intellectual Property policies, and the "borderless" business of biotech are all evidence of the global intersections of biology and informatics—of genetic codes and computer codes. Thacker points out the internal tension in the very concept of biotechnology: the products are more "tech" than "bio," but the technology itself is fully biological, composed of the biomaterial labor of genes, proteins, cells, and tissues. Is biotechnology a technology at all, he asks, or is it a notion of "life itself" that is inseparable from its use in the biotech industry? The three sections of the book cover the three primary activities of biotechnology today: the encoding of biological materials into digital form—as in bioinformatics and genomics; its recoding in various ways—including the "biocolonialism" of mapping genetically isolated ethnic populations and the newly pervasive concern over "biological security"; and its decoding back into biological materiality—as in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Thacker moves easily from science to philosophy to political economics, enlivening his account with ideas from such thinkers as Georges Bataille, Georges Canguilhem, Michel Foucault, Antonio Negri, and Paul Virilio. The "global genome," says Thacker, makes it impossible to consider biotechnology without the context of globalism.
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Relative Values

Reconfiguring Kinship Studies

Author: Sarah Franklin,Susan McKinnon

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822327967

Category: Social Science

Page: 519

View: 1510

DIVA collection of essays that redefine and transform the field of kinship./div
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On Suicide Bombing

Author: Talal Asad

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511973

Category: Social Science

Page: 144

View: 9574

Like many people in America and around the world, Talal Asad experienced the events of September 11, 2001, largely through the media and the emotional response of others. For many non-Muslims, "the suicide bomber" quickly became the icon of "an Islamic culture of death" a conceptual leap that struck Asad as problematic. Is there a "religiously-motivated terrorism?" If so, how does it differ from other cruelties? What makes its motivation "religious"? Where does it stand in relation to other forms of collective violence? Drawing on his extensive scholarship in the study of secular and religious traditions as well as his understanding of social, political, and anthropological theory and research, Asad questions Western assumptions regarding death and killing. He scrutinizes the idea of a "clash of civilizations," the claim that "Islamic jihadism" is the essence of modern terror, and the arguments put forward by liberals to justify war in our time. He critically engages with a range of explanations of suicide terrorism, exploring many writers' preoccupation with the motives of perpetrators. In conclusion, Asad examines our emotional response to suicide (including suicide terrorism) and the horror it invokes. On Suicide Bombing is an original and provocative analysis critiquing the work of intellectuals from both the left and the right. Though fighting evil is an old concept, it has found new and disturbing expressions in our contemporary "war on terror." For Asad, it is critical that we remain aware of the forces shaping the discourse surrounding this mode of violence, and by questioning our assumptions about morally good and morally evil ways of killing, he illuminates the fragile contradictions that are a part of our modern subjectivity.
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Hiroshima After Iraq

Three Studies in Art and War

Author: Rosalyn Deutsche

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231526490

Category: Social Science

Page: 112

View: 1235

Many on the left lament an apathy or amnesia toward recent acts of war. Particularly during the George W. Bush administration's invasion of Iraq, opposition to war seemed to lack the heat and potency of the 1960s and 1970s, giving the impression that passionate dissent was all but dead. Through an analysis of three politically engaged works of art, Rosalyn Deutsche argues against this melancholic attitude, confirming the power of contemporary art to criticize subjectivity as well as war. Deutsche selects three videos centered on the deployment of the atomic bomb: Krzysztof Wodiczko's Hiroshima Projection (1999), made after the first Gulf War; Silvia Kolbowski's After Hiroshima mon amour (2005-2008); and Leslie Thornton's Let Me Count the Ways (2004-2008), which followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Each of these works confronts the ethical task of addressing historical disaster, and each explores the intersection of past and present wars. These artworks profoundly contribute to the discourse of war resistance, illuminating the complex dynamics of viewing and interpretation. Deutsche employs feminist and psychoanalytic approaches in her study, questioning both the role of totalizing images in the production of warlike subjects and the fantasies that perpetuate, especially among the left, traditional notions of political dissent. She ultimately reveals the passive collusion between leftist critique and dominant discourse in which personal dimensions of war are denied.
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Death of a Discipline

Author: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231503237

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 136

View: 626

For almost three decades, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has been ignoring the standardized "rules" of the academy and trespassing across disciplinary boundaries. Today she remains one of the foremost figures in the study of world literature and its cultural consequences. In this new book she declares the death of comparative literature as we know it and sounds an urgent call for a "new comparative literature," in which the discipline is given new life—one that is not appropriated and determined by the market. In the era of globalization, when mammoth projects of world literature in translation are being undertaken in the United States, how can we protect the multiplicity of languages and literatures at the university? Spivak demonstrates how critics interested in social justice should pay close attention to literary form and offers new interpretations of classics such as Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. Through close readings of texts not only in English, French, and German but also in Arabic and Bengali, Spivak practices what she preaches. Acclaim for Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and her work: "[Spivak] pioneered the study in literary theory of non-Western women."—Edward W. Said "She has probably done more long-term political good, in pioneering feminist and post-colonial studies within global academia, than almost any of her theoretical colleagues." —Terry Eagleton "A celebrity in academia... create[s] a stir wherever she goes." —The New York Times
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Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability

Redefining Our Relationship with Nature

Author: Brendon Larson

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300151543

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 318

View: 3883

Scientists turn to metaphors to formulate and explain scientific concepts, but an ill-considered metaphor can lead to social misunderstandings and counterproductive policies, Brendon Larson observes in this stimulating book. He explores how metaphors can entangle scientific facts with social values and warns that, particularly in the environmental realm, incautious metaphors can reinforce prevailing values that are inconsistent with desirable sustainability outcomes. """Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability" draws on four case studies--two from nineteenth-century evolutionary science, and two from contemporary biodiversity science--to reveal how metaphors may shape the possibility of sustainability. Arguing that scientists must assume greater responsibility for their metaphors, and that the rest of us must become more critically aware of them, the author urges more critical reflection on the social dimensions and implications of metaphors while offering practical suggestions for choosing among alternative scientific metaphors.
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Freedom After the Critique of Foundations

Marx, Liberalism, Castoriadis and Agonistic Autonomy

Author: A. Kioupkiolis

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137029625

Category: Political Science

Page: 276

View: 1681

An exploration of the contemporary re-conception of freedom after the critique of objective truths and ideas of an unchanging human nature, in which modern self-determination was grounded. This book focuses on the radical theorist Cornelius Castoriadis and the new paradigm of 'agonistic autonomy' is contrasted with Marxian and liberal approaches.
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Genetic Medicine

A Logic of Disease

Author: Barton Childs

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 142140513X

Category: Medical

Page: 344

View: 2457

Childs thus provides a conceptual framework within which to teach and practice a humane medicine.
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Feminism and Modern Philosophy

An Introduction

Author: Andrea Nye

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415266550

Category: Social Science

Page: 153

View: 7064

A feminist approach to the history of modern philosophy reveals new insights into the lives and works of major figures such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and David Hume, and is crucial to an appreciation of the advent of feminist philosophy. Feminism and Modern Philosophy introduces students to the main thinkers and themes of modern philosophy from different feminist perspectives, and highlights the role of gender in studying classic philosophical texts. This book shows how the important figures in the history of modern philosophy have been reinterpreted by feminist theory, including: * feminist critiques of Descartes' rationalism * Locke's 'state of nature' as it relates to the family * the charges of misogyny levelled against Kant In addition, the book introduces lesser-studied texts and interpretations, such as: * the metaphysics of Leibniz's contemporary, Anne Conway * Annette Baier's recent presentation and defence of Hume Feminism and Modern Philosophy: An Introduction is written in an accessible and lively style, and each chapter ends with a helpful annotated guide to further reading. It will be appropriate for philosophy as well as gender studies courses looking at the development of modern western thought.
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Virtual Art

From Illusion to Immersion

Author: Oliver Grau

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262572231

Category: Art

Page: 416

View: 3177

Although many people view virtual reality as a modern phenomenon, it has its foundations in a history of immersive images. The search for illusionary visual space can be traced back to antiquity. This text shows how virtual art fits into the art history of illusion and immersion.
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Actual Consciousness

Author: Ted Honderich

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191023868

Category: Philosophy

Page: 400

View: 8010

What is it for you to be conscious? There is no agreement whatever in philosophy or science: it has remained a hard problem, a mystery. Is this partly or mainly owed to the existing theories not even having the same subject, not answering the same question? In Actual Consciousness, Ted Honderich sets out to supersede dualisms, objective physicalisms, abstract functionalism, externalisms, and other positions in the debate. He argues that the theory of Actualism, right or wrong, is unprecedented, in nine ways. (1) It begins from gathered data and proceeds to an adequate initial clarification of consciousness in the primary ordinary sense. This consciousness is summed up as something's being actual. (2) Like basic science, Actualism proceeds from this metaphorical or figurative beginning to what is wholly literal and explicit—constructed answers to the questions of what is actual and what it is for it to be actual. (3) In so doing, the theory respects the differences of consciousness within perception, consciousness that is thinking in a generic sense, and consciousness that is generic wanting. (4) What is actual with your perceptual consciousness is a subjective physical world out there, very likely a room, differently real from the objective physical world, that other division of the physical world. (5) What it is for the myriad subjective physical worlds to be actual is for them to be subjectively physical, which is exhaustively characterized. (6) What is actual with cognitive and affective consciousness is affirmed or valued representations. The representations being actual, which is essential to their nature, is their being differently subjectively physical from the subjective physical worlds. (7) Actualism, naturally enough when you think of it, but unlike any other existing general theory of consciousness, is thus externalist with perceptual consciousness but internalist with respect to cognitive and affective consciousness. (8) It satisfies rigorous criteria got from examination of the failures of the existing theories. In particular, it explains the role of subjectivity in thinking about consciousness, including a special subjectivity that is individuality. (9) Philosophers and scientists have regularly said that thinking about consciousness requires just giving up the old stuff and starting again. Actualism does this. Science is served by this main line philosophy, which is concentration on the logic of ordinary intelligence—clarity, consistency and validity, completeness, generality.
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Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls

Feminism, Popular Culture and the Posthuman Body

Author: Kim Toffoletti

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857731785

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 9006

Bringing a lively and accessible style to a complex subject, 'Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls' explores the idea of the ‘posthuman’ and the ways in which it is represented in popular culture. Toffoletti explores images of the posthuman body from goth-rocker Marilyn Manson's digitally manipulated self-portraits to the famous TDK ‘baby’ adverts, and from the work of artist Patricia Piccinini to the curiously ‘plastic’ form of the ubiquitous Barbie doll, controversially rescued here from her negative image. Drawing on the work of thinkers including Baudrillard, Donna Haraway and Rosi Braidotti, 'Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls' explores the nature of the human - and its ambiguous gender - in an age of biotechnologies and digital worlds.
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Globalectics

Theory and the Politics of Knowing

Author: Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231530757

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 120

View: 5853

A masterful writer working in many genres, Ngugi wa Thiong'o entered the East African literary scene in 1962 with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Uganda. In 1977 he was imprisoned after his most controversial work, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), produced in Nairobi, sharply criticized the injustices of Kenyan society and unequivocally championed the causes of ordinary citizens. Following his release, Ngugi decided to write only in his native Gikuyu, communicating with Kenyans in one of the many languages of their daily lives, and today he is known as one of the most outspoken intellectuals working in postcolonial theory and the global postcolonial movement. In this volume, Ngugi wa Thiong'o summarizes and develops a cross-section of the issues he has grappled with in his work, which deploys a strategy of imagery, language, folklore, and character to "decolonize the mind." Ngugi confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature's ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or "orature," and writing, or "literature"; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon. Throughout, he engages a range of philosophers and theorists writing on power and postcolonial creativity, including Hegel, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and Aimé Césaire. Yet his explorations remain grounded in his own experiences with literature (and orature) and reworks the difficult dialectics of theory into richly evocative prose.
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Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women

Global Women's Issues and Knowledge

Author: Cheris Kramarae,Dale Spender

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135963150

Category: Reference

Page: 2050

View: 1824

For a full list of entries and contributors, sample entries, and more, visit the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women website. Featuring comprehensive global coverage of women's issues and concerns, from violence and sexuality to feminist theory, the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women brings the field into the new millennium. In over 900 signed A-Z entries from US and Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and the Middle East, the women who pioneered the field from its inception collaborate with the new scholars who are shaping the future of women's studies to create the new standard work for anyone who needs information on women-related subjects.
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Materialität denken

Studien zur technologischen Verkörperung : hybride Artefakte, posthumane Körper

Author: Corinna Bath

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Human beings

Page: 220

View: 854

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