Essay on An Analysis Of Donna Haraway 's ' When Species Meet '

Essay on An Analysis Of Donna Haraway 's ' When Species Meet '

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Donna Haraway’s (2008) ‘When Species Meet’ is a post human analysis of the categorisation of the world into human and non-human, questioning the divisions that define contemporary Western society. Chapter twelve, ‘Parting Bites’ summarises her work, a critical evaluation of the dichotomy between animals seen as companion animals and pets, and animals that aren’t. She focuses on the ‘technocultural’ climate of today, proposing the notion of ‘companion species,’ a coming together of more than just humans and animals; technologies, organisms and landscapes are among those that she argues ‘break bread’ together with humans (Haraway 2008:95). This comes under her main goal - ‘alterglobalisation’ and ‘autre-
mondialisation’ – changing the world from what it is now, a world where animals and humans are separated by the Great Divide to a world where they shape and are shaped by each other; ‘retying the knots of ordinary multispecies living on earth’ (Haraway 2008:3). She employs the idea of the three wounds (Copernican, Darwinian and Freudian) and adding her own, Cyborgian, attributing them to the existence of the Great Divide and of human exceptionalism. Using this model, throughout the book she debunks the two. A religious vein runs through the book, with metaphorical and literal comparisons to the bible, harking back to the Garden of Eden at points – perhaps to find the roots of the divisions between animals and humans that have reigned for so long. In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting the fundamental yet invisible divide between animals and humans, with the western/non-western divide exemplified in Lucie Hazelgrove-Planel’s work on relief work in Vanuatu following Cyclone Pam.

The author’s main argument is an indictment...


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...lisation and autre- mondialisation (‘the other globalisation’). Chapter twelve, ‘Parting Bites’ is a thought-provoking final chapter to summarise the book, encapsulating the ideas that run throughout and evidencing them with anecdotes and ethnography. Through these evidences of the pervasive nature of human exceptionalism, her goal of alterglobalisation is clear and well-reasoned. The transdisciplinary approach is reminiscent of that which is called for in the fight against climate change, and her adamancy of human impact on the world (calling for a new globalisation) clearly links to this, as she argues humans need to go back to nature to have any chance of reversing the damage we have done, and prevent anymore from happening. Overall, the idea of human exceptionalism no longer seems a given, as Haraway (2008) has helped readers to question what makes up our world.

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