Open access edition: DOI 10.6069/j163-3c90
“Should feminists clone?” “What do neurons think about?” “How can we learn from bacterial writing?” These and other provocative questions have long preoccupied neuroscientist, molecular biologist, and intrepid feminist theorist Deboleena Roy, who takes seriously the capabilities of lab “objects”—bacteria and other human, nonhuman, organic, and inorganic actants—in order to understand processes of becoming.
In Molecular Feminisms, Roy investigates science as feminism at the lab bench, engaging in an interdisciplinary conversation between molecular biology, Deleuzian philosophies, posthumanism, and postcolonial and decolonial studies. She brings insights from feminist theory together with lessons learned from bacteria, subcloning, and synthetic biology, arguing that renewed interest in matter and materiality must be accompanied by a feminist rethinking of scientific research methods and techniques.
The open access edition of Molecular Feminisms is available thanks to a TOME grant from Emory University, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Roy tracks her formation as a feminist theorist in coproduction with her formation as a scientist. Molecular Feminisms makes an important contribution to the vibrant discussions in postcolonial science studies.
Alexis Shotwell, author of Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times
What does feminist science for the twenty-first century look like? Drawing together molecular biology practices with feminist theory, Roy brilliantly shows us the way with her materialist approach to cloning, estrogen receptors, neurons, and grass stolons. This book is bound to be a classic in feminist technoscience studies.
Michelle Murphy, professor of history and women and gender studies, University of Toronto
Employing the stolonic growth of grass as a strategy for connectedness and the expansion of thought, Roy engages and enlightens the reader as to how feminism informs molecular biology and vice versa.
Margaret McCarthy, professor of pharmacology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Reconfiguring a more creative and mutually beneficial interaction between the sciences and the humanities is an immensely important task and Molecular Feminisms provides an excellent and accessible beginning to this significant long-term project.
Elizabeth Grosz, author of The Incorporeal: Ontology, Ethics, and the Limits of Materialism
Molecular Feminisms is a vital book, in every sense. It is a lively and important account that thinks biology otherwise, in ethnographically rigorous ways. At a political moment when fighting for science is as urgent as critiquing its reductionisms, Deboleena Roy provokes us into thinking about what a feminist stance towards, and praxis of, the life sciences might look like.
Kaushik Sunder Rajan, author of Pharmocracy: Value, Politics, and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine