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The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The Companion Species Manifesto is about the implosion of nature and culture in the joint lives of dogs and people, who are bonded in "significant otherness." In all their historical complexity, Donna Haraway tells us, dogs matter. They are not just surrogates for theory, she says; they are not here just to think with. Neither are they just an alibi for other themes; dogs ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Prickly Paradigm Press
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With this manifesto, Haraway moves away from the figure of the cyborg (which made her famous) and toward the figure of the companion species--specifically, the dog. She attempts to do much the same thing with dogs that she did with cyborgs, saying:

"Cyborgs and companion species each bring together the human and non-human, the organic and technological, carbon and silicon, freedom and structure, history and myth, the rich and the poor, the state and the subject, diversity and depletion, modernity
Christine Leja
I read this because I was once a research assistant for a project on the "Companion species" bond (which was never finished due to the death of the researcher). I have respect for some of Haraway's other work, but this piece was a frenetic jumble of half-formed ideas and gestures (and thus a manifesto?). I'm not sure who she imagines as her audience, besides herself. The history of certain dog breeds is told in monotonous detail while she skates over dense theory with a few sentences. This read ...more
(5/10) Okay, let's get this out of the way: I'm not a dog person. Hate 'em. But even putting that aside, I didn't really see the point to this book. Haraway wants to position the companion species as a kind of new model for humanity, and I think it's an idea worth looking at. But instead of doing that, Haraway spends most of the book simply reeling off facts about various dog breeds and training techniques. The value of this book is that it opens up a question that could help lead us to a more e ...more
Michelle Taylor
Haraway wrote her manifesto in the wake of early 2000s scientific research which posited that dogs and humans both played active roles in canine domestication. In it, she advocates awareness of our co-evolutionary histories with companion species and with dogs specifically. To demonstrate what it might look like to remember these histories, she documents the breed histories of the Great Pyrenees and the Australian Shepherd. These experimental case studies fall a bit flat, however, especially be ...more
Mar 08, 2007 Katie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: theoryheads and other bestialists
I found her dogged punning in the first sections of the book annoying rather than playful, and then felt vindicated and pissy when it petered out in the second half. Then she won me back with her dorkily lengthy, mildy psychotic and undoubtably neurotic maxims on how to play a team sport with your pet. I found the theory for the most part pretty watery, though I really liked the way she made her point that inter- subjectivity doesn't supervene on equality. This was the only big fluffy dog among ...more
I enjoyed this read as it made me rethink relationships with my own dog. However, much of this read was not new as concepts of Kinship, Relationality, and Accountability between human and animals exists within Indigenous philosophies, theories, and epistemologies. While I realize that Haraway has reached these concepts from another perspective, i.e. via intersections of cyborgs, dogs, and othernesses (which I respect), her arguments and manifesto could be greatly enriched if she critically engag ...more
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I love inter-species communication and this concept of "significant otherness"--plus I've been really into dogs lately--so I enjoyed this, but found it unnecessarily academic. Or maybe i just haven't been reading enough theory lately and need to bulk up on brainpower...
Sep 18, 2009 Niels added it
Haraway always repats her message, but from a different perspective every time. Differentiating between animals and humans? Forget it. We have more in common than we think and therefore you can add 'dogs' to simians, cyborgs and women.
Justiina Dahl
Leaving her old ally, the cyborg, in the sidelines Donna Haraway shows how the history of dogs includes all the same, if not more, of the possibilities of dualism-braking qualities in re-conceptualization of power structures.
Mar 06, 2010 Victor is currently reading it
From a dog lover's perspective, she explores the meaning of science, the training of dogs, and the meaning of relationships with other beings.

Damn, I lost this book somewhere.
Interesting book. It suffers from writing that at times approaches the panicked hyperventilated utterances of a creative twelve year old with a technical vocabulary

Strong start, weak finish: this should have been an afterword to the Cyborg Manifesto, upon which it usefully expands.
James Klagge
The early portions of this book are virtually unintelligible. The later portions are somewhat interesting.
Mar 07, 2012 Linde added it
Shelves: university
ABANDONED. Gave up after 25 pages. It is very dense prose - too much so for my liking.
Laurel Braitman
Not for the faint of heart. Or the weak or tired. But worth it.
half theoretical text, half a dog book. weird.
Apr 12, 2008 Amy marked it as to-read
This be my next new "currently reading."
Vedis Ronald
Vedis Ronald is currently reading it
Jan 14, 2015
Marilyn marked it as to-read
Jan 08, 2015
Janis Wall
Janis Wall marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2015
Darlene Reilley
Darlene Reilley marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2014
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Donna Jeanne Haraway is the chair of the History of Consciousness program at the University of California Santa Cruz. She writes and lectures on techno-science and feminist theory. Haraway is famous for her 1991 essay A Cyborg Manifesto .
More about Donna J. Haraway...
Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature When Species Meet Modest_witness@second_millennium.Femaleman_meets_oncomouse: Feminism and Technoscience Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science Manifesto Cyborg

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