Cyborg Geographies: Towards Hybrid Epistemologies
Gender, Place & Culture, Volume 16, Issue 5, October 2009, pages 499-516
35 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012
Date Written: October 16, 2008
As a mode of critique, the cyborg is often separated from its role as a figuration. This article reviews Donna Haraway’s cyborg theory to restate the importance of the cyborg as a figuration in critical methodology. Figuration is about opening knowledge-making practices to interrogation. I argue that the cyborg enables this inquiry through epistemological hybridization. To do so, cyborg figurations not only adopt a language of being or becoming, but narrate this language in the production of knowledges, to know hybridly. The epistemological hybridization of the cyborg includes four strategies: witnessing, situating, diffracting and acquiring. These are modes of knowing in cyborg geographies. To underline the importance of this use of cyborg theory, I review selected geographic literatures in naturecultures and technosciences, to demonstrate how geographers cite the cyborg. My analysis suggests these literatures emphasize an ontological hybridity that leaves underconsidered the epistemological hybridization at work in cyborg figuration. To take up the cyborg in this way, is to place at risk our narrations, to re-make these geographies as hybrid, political work.
Keywords: critical methodology, cyborg figuration, hybridity, natureculture, technoscience
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