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Body Drift

Butler, Hayles, Haraway

2012
Author:

Arthur Kroker

Body Drift

Brings three major feminist theorists into critical dialogue for the first time

According to Arthur Kroker, Judith Butler’s postmodernism, Katherine Hayles’s posthumanism, and Donna Haraway’s companionism are possible pathways to the posthuman future that is captured by the specter of body drift. The writings of these key feminist thinkers, Kroker reveals, provide the vocabulary and political context for understanding the complexities of body drift and challenging the current emphasis on the material body.

Body Drift is an elegiac, lyrical, and virtuosic engagement with the three most influential feminist theorists of body drift in which Arthur Kroker emerges a resounding and passionate argument for an ethics of responsibility that is able to manage the clashing perspectives of our ‘dark times’. Kroker artfully matches the trilogy of Judith Butler’s postmodernism, Katherine Hayles’ posthumanism, and Donna Haraway’s companionism against the modernist triad of Heidegger’s bad conscience, Marx’s historical materialism and Nietzsche’s nihilism to provide essential and enabling reading that provides a deep, coherent and understanding of the contemporary body in the technological age.

Sara Diamond, OCAD University

As exemplary representatives of a form of critical feminism, Judith Butler, Katherine Hayles, and Donna Haraway offer entry into the great crises of contemporary society, politics, and culture through their writings. Butler leads readers to rethink the boundaries of the human in a time of perpetual war. Hayles turns herself into a “writing machine” in order to find a dwelling place for the digital humanities within the austere landscape of the culture of the code. Haraway is the one contemporary thinker to have begun the necessary ethical project of creating a new language of potential reconciliation among previously warring species.

According to Arthur Kroker, the postmodernism of Judith Butler, the posthumanism of Katherine Hayles, and the companionism of Donna Haraway are possible pathways to the posthuman future that is captured by the specter of body drift. Body drift refers to the fact that individuals no longer inhabit a body in any meaningful sense of the term, but rather occupy a multiplicity of bodies: gendered, sexualized, laboring, disciplined, imagined, and technologically augmented.

Body drift is constituted by the blast of information culture envisioned by artists, communicated by social networking, and signified by its signs. It is lived daily by remixing, resplicing, and redesigning the codes: codes of gender, sexuality, class, ideology, and identity. The writings of Butler, Hayles, and Haraway, Kroker reveals, provide the critical vocabulary and political context for understanding the deep complexities of body drift and challenging the current emphasis on the material body.

Body Drift

Arthur Kroker is Canada Research Chair in Technology, Culture, and Theory and professor of political science at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. He is the author or editor of many books, including The Will to Technology and the Culture of Nihilism: Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Marx. With Marilouise Kroker, he edits the acclaimed online scholarly review CTheory.net.

Body Drift

Body Drift is an elegiac, lyrical, and virtuosic engagement with the three most influential feminist theorists of body drift in which Arthur Kroker emerges a resounding and passionate argument for an ethics of responsibility that is able to manage the clashing perspectives of our ‘dark times’. Kroker artfully matches the trilogy of Judith Butler’s postmodernism, Katherine Hayles’ posthumanism, and Donna Haraway’s companionism against the modernist triad of Heidegger’s bad conscience, Marx’s historical materialism and Nietzsche’s nihilism to provide essential and enabling reading that provides a deep, coherent and understanding of the contemporary body in the technological age.

Sara Diamond, OCAD University

Seventy-five years later, Arthur Kroker’s Body Drift brings new intensity to [Walter Benjamin’s] language of paradox and complexity... Attentive to the complex ways in which bodies are implicated in personal and political spaces... Body Drift explores the ways in which codes of technology have become the new language of political power.

Symbolic Interaction

Kroker’s book manages to reflect the fluidity of networked and contemporary aspects of body drift, well especially, from a critically aware, posthumanist perspective.

Humanity+

Body Drift

Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Body Drift
2. Contingencies: Nietzsche in Drag in the Theater of Judith Butler
3. Complexities: The Posthuman Subject of Katherine Hayles
4. Hybridities: Donna Haraway and Bodies of Paradox
Epilogue: Bodies and Power

Notes
Index