DONNA HARAWAY on Staying with the Trouble /131

Image–  Donna Haraway  (Vanitas Series), 2017 by  Joe Meiser

Image– Donna Haraway (Vanitas Series), 2017 by Joe Meiser

Since her 1985 essay, “A Cyborg Manifesto,” scholar Donna Haraway has transformed how theorists, academics, and artists think about humans’ deep and entangled relationships with technology, beyond-human kin, and each another. We know that our planetary community is intimately linked, though, as Donna writes, “[Certain dualisms] have all been systemic to the logics and practices of domination of women, people of colour, nature, workers, animals — in short, domination of all constituted as others, whose task is to mirror the self.“ Through an ongoing practice of thoughtful and curious investigation, Donna continues to unravels the myth of human exceptionalism, the hyper individualism of capitalist culture and Western traditions, and the rigid binaries we so often construct between the self and others.

The Earth itself is in revolt. The Earth itself is rising against its destroyers.
— Donna Haraway / Episode 131
Donna Haraway

Donna Haraway

Attending to the intersection of biology, culture and politics, Donna Haraway is a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California Santa Cruz. She earned her PhD in Biology at Yale in 1972 and writes and teaches in science and technology studies, feminist theory, and multispecies studies. At UCSC, she is an active participant in the Science and Justice Research Center and Center for Creative Ecologies and has served as a thesis adviser for over 60 doctoral students. Haraway’s most recent works include Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene; a feature-length film by Fabrizio Terravova, titled Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival; and Making Kin Not Population, a publication co-edited with Adele Clarke that addresses questions of human numbers, feminist anti-racist reproductive and environmental justice, and multispecies flourishing.Ayana and Donna’s fascinating conversation this week winds through topics like the reclamation of truth and “situated knowledge,” the importance of mourning with others, the etymology of “Anthropocene,” the place of forgiveness in movement building, and the urgency of making non-natal kin. Donna invites us to wander in the colorful worlds of science fiction, play with story, and dig through the compost pile, offering up powerful tools and practices needed for humans and nonhumans alike to “live and die well together” on Earth. With spirit and bold defiance, Donna leaves us with a resounding message:

Show up and stay with the trouble!

♫ Music by Jeremy Harris


  • Sandra Harding, Patricia Hill Collins, Karen Barad, and Nancy Hartsock on Feminist Standpoint Theory

  • Anna Tsing, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet

  • Marshall Sahlins, David Schneider, Marilyn Strathern, and Dr. Kim TallBear on theories of kinship

  • Eric Stanley on “forced life”

  • Bruno Latour, Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime

  • Isabelle Stengers

  • H. P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

  • Mary Louise Pratt on “contact zones”

  • Vinciane Despret’s methodological principle “working by addition”

  • Susan Harding and Marco Harding

  • Ursula Le Guin, The Word for the World is Forest

  • Sue Burke, Semiosis

  • Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human

  • Hannah Arendt

  • Donna’s Publications (from this episode):
    + “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” (Haraway, 1985)
    + Making Kin not Population: Reconceiving Generations (Clarke & Haraway, 2018)
    + The film Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival (Terranova, 2016)
    + “Staying with the Manifesto: An Interview with Donna Haraway” (Franklin, 2017)
    + Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Haraway, 2016)
    + The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (Haraway, 2003)

About Our Podcast…

At For The Wild, we discuss the critical ideas of our time and parlay them into action for the defense and regeneration of natural communities. Key topics include the rediscovery of wild nature, ecological renewal and resistance, and healing from the trauma of individualistic society. We will travel deep into ancient forests, align with the struggles and ways of Earth-based people, and rekindle the mysteries of intuition. We will join today’s brightest visionaries in this momentous work of reimagining a world where humanity can find its way back into the web of life.

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