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Woman as Biocontrol: Rereading Donna Haraway through German Science Fiction

Sunka Simon
Women in German Yearbook
Vol. 24 (2008), pp. 119-141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20688296
Page Count: 23
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Woman as Biocontrol: Rereading Donna Haraway through German Science Fiction
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Abstract

This article critically juxtaposes Donna Haraway's concept of the feminist cyborg with the remote controlled female cyborg figure in the 1984 German science fiction short story "Biocon" by Reinmar Cunis. It shows how both authors investigate their current societies' adaptation of the cyborg as a figure through which female sexuality and the disavowed fears and desires around self-engendering technology can be "both exorcized and reaffirmed" (Huyssen 81). In their writings, Cunis and Haraway demonstrate the continued sway that this structural paradox holds. Both are deeply committed to analyzing and representing the inequalities, anxieties, contradictions and potential of mass culture in the 1980s. Rereading Haraway's influential "Manifesto for Cyborgs" through Cunis's German SF-scenario helps to highlight the different role recent national history plays in both cyborg manifestations. It shows how, all attempts to the contrary, postwar German society employs the production of hybrids and the conceptualization of hybridity as a means to purification.

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