Bits of Life

9780295997117: Hardback
Release Date: 20th July 2015

9780295988092: Paperback
Release Date: 29th February 2008

17 illus.

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 240

Series In Vivo: The Cultural Mediations of Biomedical Science

University of Washington Press

Bits of Life

Feminism at the Intersections of Media, Bioscience, and Technology

Hardback / £74.00
Paperback / £27.99

Since World War II, the biological and technological have been fusing and merging in new ways, resulting in the loss of a clear distinction between the two. This entanglement of biology with technology isn't new, but the pervasiveness of that integration is staggering, as is the speed at which the two have been merging in recent decades. As this process permeates more of everyday life, the urgent necessity arises to rethink both biology and technology. Indeed, the human body can no longer be regarded either as a bounded entity or as a naturally given and distinct part of an unquestioned whole.

Bits of Life assumes a posthuman definition of the body. It is grounded in questions about today's biocultures, which pertain neither to humanist bodily integrity nor to the anthropological assumption that human bodies are the only ones that matter. Editors Anneke Smelik and Nina Lykke aid in mapping changes and transformations and in striking a middle road between the metaphor and the material. In exploring current reconfigurations of bodies and embodied subjects, the contributors pursue a technophilic, yet critical, path while articulating new and thoroughly appraised ethical standards.

Bits of Life: An Introduction / Anneke Smelik and Nina Lykke

1. Feminist Cultural Studies of Technoscience: Portrait of an Implosion / Nina Lykke

2. Roots and Routes: The Making of Feminist Cultural Studies of Technoscience / Maureen McNeil

3. "There Are Always More Things Going On Than You Thought!" Methodologies as Thinking Technologies: Interview with Donna Haraway / Nina Lykke, Randi Markussen, and Finn Olesen

4. Fluid Ecologies: Changing Hormonal Systems of Embodied Difference / Celia Roberts

5. Parenthood and Kinship in IVF for Humans and Animals: On Traveling Bits of Life in the Age of Genetics / Amade M'Charek and Grietje Keller

6. From Rambo Sperm to Egg Queens: Two Versions of Lennart Nilsson's Film on Human Reproduction / Mette Bryld and Nina Lykke

7. Screening the Gene: Hollywood Cinema and the Genetic Imaginary / Jackie Stacey

8. MyLifeBits: The Computer as Memory Machine / Jose van Dijck

9. Tunnel Vision: Inner, Outer, and Virtual Space in Science Fiction Films and Medical Documentaries / Anneke Smelik

10. What if Frankenstein('s Monster) Was a Girl?: Reproduction and Subjectivity in the Digital Age / Jenny Sunden

11. Living in a Posthumanist Material World: Lessons from Schrodinger's Cat / Karen Barad

12. The Politics of Life as Bios/Zoe / Rosi Braidotti


Anneke Smelik is professor of visual culture at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Nina Lykke is professor of gender studies, Linkoeping University, Sweden, and head of the Nordic Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies.

Bits of Life is a strong and vibrant contribution to the field of feminist technoscience studies. The collection is constructed as an ongoing dialogue among a group of scholars who have been thinking about these issues for a long time. It is forceful and bold in its engagement with key questions about new technologies of bio—engineering, reproduction, imaging, communication, and the redefinition of 'life.'.

Lisa Parks, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

A speedy, smart, provocative, hybrid assemblage of essays on contemporary technoscientific and mass(ively) mediated cultural transformations that is deeply invested in helping us think our way toward possible futures. The editors map the multiple intellectual and institutional histories informing the prolific imaginaries, and contested terrain, of feminist cultural studies of technoscience today.

Jackie Orr, Syracuse University

..[Mark[s] the profound theoretical shifts that accompany new configurations of life and the material in a posthuman age. . . . [Provides] succinct and rich overviews of where feminist studies, especially feminist technoscience studies, stands today.