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Culture critic to lecture

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 27 - April 11, 1996

In a talk April 22 at Virginia Tech, culture critic Donna Haraway will present her vision of the ways an emerging world order combining the biosciences and corporate capitalism is redefining life itself.

The 4 p.m. lecture in Squires Haymarket Theater will be titled "FemaleMan(c) Meets OncoMouse[TM]: Scanning the Mts OncoMouse[TM]: Scanning the Millennium in Feminist Science Studies." Haraway will put stories together from institutional developments in biotechnology, laboratory practices in molecular genetics, a high-school genetics textbook, a curriculum-reform project in biology, legal debates over intellectual property, and feminist science fiction to explore some surprising new forms of kinship in the late 20th century. She also will outline the stakes feminists have in these lifeforms.

Haraway is a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she serves as department head for the interdisciplinary History of Consciousness Board. She has also taught at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Hawaii, and Yale University.

Trained initially as a biologist, Haraway turned to the history of biology as a way to examine how biology functions as a powerful discourse in everyday life. She is widely honored as a master teacher and public intellectual. Her far-ranging work includes two award-winning books, Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science and Simians, Cyborgs, and Women.

Haraway's lecture is the eighth annual Nicholas Mullins Memorial Lecture, named in honor of the former Virginia Tech sociologist of science and organized by the Center for the Study of Science in Society. Her visit is co-sponsored by the Women Artists and Scholars Lecture Series, Women's Studies Program, Center For Interdisciplinary Studies, and Department of Sociology.