Skip to main content

Institute for Humanities Research welcomes Donna Haraway as its Distinguished Lecturer

October 24, 2012

The Institute for Humanities Research welcomes as its 2013 Distinguished Lecturer, Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita of the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz and author of "Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: the Reinvention of Nature."

Haraway will be speaking on “Multispecies Cosmopolitics: Staying with the Trouble,” calling upon her audience to work, play and think in terms of multispecies cosmopolitics, a new approach to recuperating the Terrapolis on which we live.

After centuries of genocides, environmental destruction and its unevenly distributed suffering, and rampant killing of species, as well as individuals, Haraway suggests that humans turn to SF – string figures, science fiction, speculative fabulation, speculative feminism – as mechanisms for envisioning the future.

Working homing pigeons provide guidance for SF thinking, especially as seen through the methodologies and theories of practicing zoo-ethno-graphers. Their investigations of multispecies attachment, detachment, inter- and intra- patience, and inter- and intra- action bring together the social sciences, humanities, arts, and biological and physical sciences and offer crucial tools and knowledge(s). However, these investigations also reveal stunning human ignorance(s) about how to inhabit the world with other animals, rather than to observe and control them.

The lecture will conclude with examples of innovative projects that study both human and nonhuman workers engaged in linked effort in differentiated ways that none of our cosmopolitan knowledge traditions now know how to articulate, but must learn to do so.

Haraway is an internationally recognized feminist theorist and philosopher of science and technology. She has published widely influential works in the fields of cultural and women’s studies, political theory, primatology, literature, and philosophy, including “Primate Visions: Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science” (1990), “Modest_Witness @ Second_Millennium.FemaleMan © _Meets_OncoMouse™: Feminism and Technoscience” (1997), and “When Species Meet” (2008).  In September 2000, Haraway was awarded the highest honor given by the Society for Social Studies of Science, the J.D. Bernal Prize, for lifetime contributions to the field.

In preparation for Haraway's visit, the IHR is hosting a reading/discussion group in four-parts that will be led by Joni Adamson, associate professor of English and environmental humanities, School of Letters and Sciences; and Ron Broglio, associate professor of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The reading group will read and discuss selected essays, from the “The Haraway Reader” (Routledge 2003) and others, to explore the impact of Haraway’s work on social and academic thinking.

Each meeting will take place from noon-1:30 p.m., in Social Sciences, room 109 and occur on Nov. 29, Jan. 24, Feb. 7 and 21. The meetings are free and open to the public. Please bring your own lunch. For more information visit: To RSVP visit:

The Institute for Humanities Research is a research unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.