‘A Manifesto for Cyborgs thirty-years on: Gender, Technology and Feminist-Technoscience in the twenty-first century’

Abstracts due: 27th of February, 2015

Editor: Thao Phan

In her iconic essay A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the 1980s, Donna Haraway introduced the metaphor of the cyborg as an “ironic political myth” to critique the so far troubling narratives of the West. Published in the Socialist Review in 1985, it brings together a broad spectrum of literacies—from socialist-feminism, to cybernetics and biopolitics—to proffer a cutting criticism of Enlightenment humanism, gender essentialism, and military technoscience. Her provocations created a useful framework to destabilise rigid boundaries and make fluid the borderlines between human and animal, organism and machine, natural and artificial, semiotic and material. Today the Manifesto sits comfortably as part of the canon of feminist-technoscience and postmodern theory. Although as an oppositional figure the cyborg is bounded by a historical specificity, it has certainly found new significance and politics in the contemporary age of ubiquitous media.

To mark the 30th anniversary since its publication, Platform invites authors whose work resonates or responds to themes expounded in this seminal essay. With the benefit of thirty years’ hindsight, what new observations or critical assessments can be made in regards to the cyborg as a feminist, tropic figure? Did the cyborg fulfill its promise of an “historical transformation”? Is the figure of the cyborg still as useful today, given contemporary technological developments? Or, conversely, do we need myths like Haraway’s now more than ever? We encourage the submission of theoretical or empirical work engaging with applications of, or criticisms of, frameworks used by Haraway, and are particularly interested in critical papers that provide novel insights into the relation between gender and technoscience.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cyborg subjectivities in the 21st century
  • Gendered tropes in technology
  • Novel readings of gender and technoscience
  • Trans/queer studies of technology
  • Feminist science and/or feminist science and technology studies
  • Posthuman subjectivities
  • Postgender politics and subjectivities of ‘affinity’
  • Multiple or fractured readings of the cyborg
  • Technologies of sex and gender
  • Technologies of race and identity
  • Critical studies of the body/embodiment
  • Feminist histories/historiographies of media, technology or computation
  • The informatics of domination
  • Biotechnologies and Artificial Intelligence
  • Feminism and accelerationist politics
  • Feminism and new materialisms

In addition to this special section, we also welcome submissions that more broadly deal with issues relating to the areas of media, technology, and communication in theoretical or critical terms.

Please send all enquiries and submissions to platformjmc@gmail.com. Abstracts must be accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae and biographical note, and should not exceed 350 words.

We recommend that prospective authors submit abstracts well before the abstract deadline of 27th of February, 2015, in order to allow for feedback and suggestions from the editors. All submissions should be from early career researchers (defined as being within a few years of completing their PhD) or current graduate students undertaking their Masters, PhD, or international equivalent.

All eligible submissions will be sent for double-blind peer-review. Early submission is highly encouraged as the review process will commence on submission.

Note: Please read the submission guidelines before submitting work. Submissions received not in house style will not be accepted and authors will be asked resubmit their work with the correct formatting before it is sent for review.