Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lecture 7 'Critcal Thinking': Amanda Moffat

"Rosi Braidotti" Wikipedia Entry
I deliberately chose a Wikipedia page to be controversial! This website provides a summary of Rosi's biographical information focusing on an impressive array of academic achievements, publications and related work - claiming that throughout which, "Braidotti asserts and demonstrates the importance of combining theoretical concerns with a serious commitment to producing socially and politically relevant scholarship that contributes to making a difference in the world." These credentials give her credibility and leads the uninitiated to believe that the content is accurate and to be trusted. As with all Wikipedia pages it is up to date (last modified on 19 September 2008) and there are a number of working links to other Wikipedia entries, as well as related external links to other sites (including her own) which list her work and corroborate her credentials (e.g. the Utrecht University site where she is a 'Distinguished Professor'). Interestingly though, there are no academic references directly on the Wikipedia page!

"Cyberfeminism with a difference" by Rosi Braidotti
This article talks about feminism in relation to a post-modernist approach to technology and culture. Written in 1996, it is well referenced and cited by academia. I particularly found the section entitled 'Post-human bodies' interesting, where Rosi selects three 'cyborg goddesses' - Dolly Parton, Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda - suggesting that these 'emblems of postmodern femininity' symbolise the culturally enforced icons of white, economically dominant, heterosexual Americans - and more specifically a 'Californian 'body beautiful' ideology'. I can see where she's coming from with Liz and Jane, but I'm not sure about Dolly! To further legitimise this text, this section has been published as a chapter in 'The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader' (2003) by Amelia Jones.

"The Old Boys Network: The mode is the message - the code is the collective"
After reading Rosi's piece on cyberfeminism I decided to google the term and found this website which is a feminist collective forum, ironically entitled 'Old Boys Network'. It claims to be the first international alliance of cyberfeminists 'aimed at contributing to the critical discourse on gender-specific aspects of new media'. The people involved include an array of individual academics and artists (mainly women unsurprisingly), as well as whole agencies and societies, which suggest it is legitimate. After checking out some of the founding members I found this article on Jstor which corroborated their credentials http://www.jstor.org/pss/778008, and they (Claudia Reiche and Verena Kuni) have also published a book on the subject entitled 'Cyberfeminism: Next Protocols' (2004). However, this book is yet to be published according to the website so it is clearly not maintained regularly (last updated 28.07.02) and some of the links no longer work, rendering it a less reliable source - although it still makes some interesting points and is relevant to the module.

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