Cosmodolphins: Feminist Cultural Studies of Technology, Animals and the Sacred

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9781856498166: Cosmodolphins: Feminist Cultural Studies of Technology, Animals and the Sacred
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Applying recent thinking on gender and the environment to original research in science and technology, this unique book explores postcolonial relationships with ‘the wild‘ using the US and Russia as examples. The authors analyse contemporary categorizations of ‘human self‘ versus ‘wild other‘ through three twentieth century icons that best illustrate ambivalent ideas about self and other: spaceships, horoscopes and dolphins. The book includes interviews with astrologers, wilderness guides, dolphin trainers and academic staff of space agencies from both Russia and the US.The interviews highlight some interesting differences between these two cultures in ideas both about gender and about self/other boundaries. The authors also look at representations of the space race in film and science fiction in both cultures, as well as New Age and other texts on dolphins, astrology and space travel. Cosmodolphins shows how all three icons partly reproduce and partly alter the earlier, colonial self/other dichotomy of woman, native and nature against the ‘civilized‘ technologically masterful male self. We see how a particular icon of the wild - the dolphin - is elevated to mythological status, how a secularized society looks for spiritual fulfilment in the `beyond‘ - astrology - and in its own technological advances - space travel. Theoretically innovative, this book represents an alternative approach to ecofeminist themes linking them up with studies of new technocultures and cyborgs. It forms an excellent exemplar of feminist cultural studies.

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Review:

'This is a breath-taking ride through the cutting edge of contemporary cultural critique. From the exploration of outer space to the bottom of the sea, the book has a global reach... Witty, even wicked at times, it’s NASA through Bakhtin’s eyes and Flipper meets Foucault... A delight to read.' Rosi Braidotti 'Through reading of post world War II stories of space flight, New Age astrology and dolphin mythology, Mette Bryld and Nina Lykke effectively deconstruct the Euro-American phallocentric mission to civilize the wild trinity of woman-native-nature.' Govind Kelkar, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand 'Mette Bryld & Nina Lykke's Cosmodolphins is one of those rare books that can startle the reader into fresh ways of seeing things... Cosmodolphins does a brilliant job of theorizing the cosmos and of inspiring other feminist cultural critics to do likewise.' Sylvia Bowerbank, McMaster University, Canada 'This inspiring work of necessary de-stabilization and de-naturalization puts feminist culture studies forward into the questions of livable future.' Lena Trojer, University of Karlskrona/Ronneby

Synopsis:

Applying thinking on gender and the environment to research on science and technology, this work explores postcolonical relationships with "the wild" using the USA and Russia as examples. The authors analyze contemporary categorizations of human self versus wild other through three 20th-century icons which illustrate ambivalent ideas about self and other - spaceships, horoscopes and dolphins. They interview astrologers, wilderness guides, dolphin trainers and academic staff of space agencies from Russia and the US, and look at representations of the space race in film and science fiction in both cultures as well as in New Age and other texts on dolphins, astrology and space travel. We see how a particular icon of the wild - the dolphin - is elevated to mythological status, and how a secularized society looks for spiritual fulfilment in the "beyond" - astrology - and in its own technological advances - space travel.

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9781856498159: Cosmodolphins: Feminist Cultural Studies of Technology, Animals and the Sacred

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ISBN 10:  1856498158 ISBN 13:  9781856498159
Publisher: Zed Books, 2000
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