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Species MattersHumane Advocacy and Cultural Theory$
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Michael Lundblad and Marianne DeKoven

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152839

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152839.001.0001

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Species Matters, Humane Advocacy

Species Matters, Humane Advocacy

In the Promising Grip of Earthly Oxymorons

(p.17) 1 Species Matters, Humane Advocacy
Species Matters

Donna Haraway

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the complexity and significance of what is at stake in the terms “species,” “matter,” “humane,” and “advocacy.” In particular, it considers multifarious contradictions deriving from the fact that “critters become with each other in many and marvelous forms and processes and in diverse, entangled, and nonetheless incommensurate times and places.” It discusses the concept of “becoming with” and the term “critters” itself, which it views as existing, surviving, developing, changing, and dying in mutual interaction with other, co-dependent living beings. It also explores the notion of “companion species” that exists in this mutuality of sharing, change, and exchange that is “becoming with.” Drawing on the materialism of socialist feminism, alert throughout to the deformations of capital and the denigration of women and other subjugated critters, the chapter highlights the derivations and multiple meanings of the terms under discussion, untangling their contradictions, pointing to the incommensurabilities they contain, and adumbrating their possibilities for more terra-friendly forms of becoming with.

Keywords:   species, matter, humane, advocacy, critters, becoming with, companion species, socialist feminism, capital, women

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