Donna Haraway : biography
Donna J. Haraway (born September 6, 1944) is currently a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, United States. Haraway, a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology studies, was described in the early 1990s as a "feminist, rather loosely a neo-Marxist and a postmodernist" (Young 1992, 172). She is the author of numerous books and essays that bring together questions of science and feminism, such as A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century (1985) and "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective" (1988).
Haraway has taught Women’s Studies and the History of Science at the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins University. In September 2000, Haraway was awarded the highest honor given by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), the J. D. Bernal Award, for lifetime contributions to the field. Haraway has also lectured in feminist theory and technoscience at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. Faculty Website at European Graduate School Haraway’s works have contributed the study of both human-machine and human-animal relations. Her works have sparked debate in primatology, philosophy, and developmental biology.Kunzru, Hari. "You Are Cyborg", in Wired Magazine, 5:2 (1997) 1-7.
Haraway’s work has been criticized for being "methodologically vague"Hamner, M. Gail. "The Work of Love: Feminist Politics and the Injunction to Love." Opting for the Margins: Postmodernity and Liberation in Christian Theology. Joerg Rieger, ed. Oxford University Press. 2003. and using noticeably opaque language that is "sometimes concealing in an apparently deliberate way."Cachel, Susan. "Partisan primatology. Review of Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science." American Journal of Primatology. 22:2 (1990) 139-142. Several reviewers have noted that her understanding of the scientific method is questionable, and that her explorations of epistemology at times leave her texts virtually meaning-free.Cartmill, Matt. "Book Review – Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the world of Modern Science." International Journal of Primatology. 12:1 (1991) 67-75.
A 1991 review of Haraway’s Primate Visions, published in the International Journal of Primatology, provides examples of some of the most common critiques of her deconstructionist view of science:
This is a book that contradicts itself a hundred times; but that is not a criticism of it, because its author thinks contradictions are a sign of intellectual ferment and vitality. This is a book that systematically distorts and selects historical evidence; but that is not a criticism, because its author thinks that all interpretations are biased, and she regards it as her duty to pick and choose her facts to favor her own brand of politics. This is a book full of vaporous, French-intellectual prose that makes Teilhard de Chardin sound like Ernest Hemingway by comparison; but that is not a criticism, because the author likes that sort of prose and has taken lessons in how to write it, and she thinks that plain, homely speech is part of a conspiracy to oppress the poor.
This is a book that clatters around in a dark closet of irrelevancies for 450 pages before it bumps accidentally into its index and stops; but that is not a criticism, either, because its author finds it gratifying and refreshing to bang unrelated facts together as a rebuke to stuffy minds. This book infuriated me; but that is not a defect in it, because it is supposed to infuriate people like me, and the author would have been happier still if I had blown out an artery. In short, this book is flawless, because all its deficiencies are deliberate products of art. Given its assumptions, there is nothing here to criticize. The only course open to a reviewer who dislikes this book as much as I do is to question its author’s fundamental assumptions—which are big-ticket items involving the nature and relationships of language, knowledge, and science.