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When Species Meet Hardcover – Dec 7 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (Dec 7 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816650454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816650453
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,360,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Amazing book Aug. 3 2009
By commscholar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous reviewer: this book is not intended for a general reader. It is intended for a specialized academic audience. It seems silly to critique it based on not fulfilling the needs of a general reader. It's like buying a sports car and then complaining that it doesn't have enough room or hugs the road too much. If you didn't want those things, why buy a sports car? Similarly, if you didn't want an academic press book, don't buy one.

This book is brilliant and deals with animal issues that have yet to be addressed. It thoroughly changed the way I conceptualize the body in my scholarship, and the way that I conceptualize the difference and dichotomy between humans and non-humans. The crux of her argument is that humans are always in a state of becoming with animals.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Haraway and posthumanism April 19 2010
By M. L. Galbreath - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Donna J. Haraway's _When Species Meet_ is a great resource for anyone interested in animal/human relations in the context of posthumanism. Haraway has always been an astute observer of social/political/natural interactions, and this book follows in the same tradition. No ideology is safe from her questioning mind as she explores the science and ethics behind industrial food animal farming, the use of animals in biomedical research, and pedigreed animal breeding.
Important book and pleasant read June 13 2014
By John Moran - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the topic (pets) seems a specialized interest--although of course Haraway makes the obvious point that household companion species are enormously important in the US--this is a major treatise by one of the foundational thinkers in a major transformation taking place in the social sciences and humanities, "the animal turn" "new materialities" "posthumanities" etc. Essential reading to anyone interested in the future of environmentalism and feminism.
28 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Not for the Practical, Narrative-Bound Reader July 8 2009
By Political Critic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Donna Haraway has become something of a rock star-legend among certain academic circles and it is clear to see why - she writes (perhaps unintentionally, and yet unmistakably) only for other academic readers (an exclusivity that always gratifies insecure academic types).

While some of the professional reviews of this book suggest that it is highly accessible (and, compared to the dense impenetrable thicket of metaphors that overran her previous works such as Primate Visions, it is) do not be fooled. She is NOT writing for a general audience. Indeed, in all her writing, Haraway gives the distinct impression that she is indifferent to the experience of her readers with her work. The professional critics quoted on this website are correct that Primate Visions has a refreshing exuberance in its prose, but the exuberance is all Haraway having fun with herself (not with you) and her own delirious love of words and metaphors for the sake of words and metaphors. She's too busy listening to herself write to notice whether you the reader might be getting lost in the thicket of her ideas, digressions, metaphors. It's not egotistical on Haraway's part (or even narcissistic exactly) she's simply off on another plane of existence, a linguistic/metaphoric plane of co-constructed beings who never leave the realm of the mind to try to engage with the real world.

All of which is quite ironic, since one of her many motifs that thrills her so much is the idea of "co-production" of knowledge and the metaphor of the "knot" - the relationship and "becoming with" that occurs as two "things" have an "encounter." Yet what emerges so clearly from her work is that she is not at all interested in her readers' encounters with her work. Which ultimately leaves this work considerably lacking (although certainly a step up from her previous writing).

Bottom line - she is quite a formidable thinker and there are some interesting gems and nuggets to be found in Haraway's work that makes her a good read for academics in animal studies, ecofeminism, history and philosophy of science, etc. But even those finally amount to an ethical philosophy of wanting people to live in the "knot" and the "encounter" and to move away from thinking about individuals as distinct, separate beings (such as human vs. non-human animal). While that may be academically interesting, it doesn't translate very far into an ethical framework that is workable/livable for the average person today. So it sounds good in the world of the academy, but I ultimately don't know how far it will go towards making a difference in the real world.

If you're a non-academic (no matter how serious a reader you are), don't waste your time on Haraway. She'll reward you with page after page of digression and metaphor atop metaphor and you'll get a hardy dose of her as subject/character/voice/narrator without feeling as if you had really gained much from the encounter.