Feminist Review 123 (1):24-39 (2019)

Abstract
Feminist investigations into caring technologies emphasise the tension between their reproduction of care’s assumed femininity and their ability to destabilise gendered markers and systems. However, the existing literature ignores the historical racialisation of care and its perpetuation in the form of the posthuman caring object. This article examines how racialised relations of power shape the posthumanisation of care in three science-fiction works, Channel 4’s television show Humans, Alex Riviera’s film Sleep Dealer and Spike Jonze’s film Her. While Her’s disembodied operating systems are premised upon an implicit whiteness, posthuman caring objects in Humans and Sleep Dealer take a racialised, embodied form. Drawing upon the work of Saidiya Hartman and Fred Moten, this article examines how the racialised objects in Humans and Sleep Dealer are constituted as both labourers and commodities, purchased for the purpose of facilitating white reproductivity. Nonetheless, this article also documents how these caring technologies complicate key binaries such as subject/object, human/machine and productive/reproductive labour. In doing so, they disrupt the whiteness of the social reproduction paradigm. The article concludes by calling for greater feminist engagement with the racialisation of care labour in human and posthuman forms, in order to challenge white, heterosexual models of reproductivity based upon the exploitation of racialised labour.
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DOI 10.1177/0141778919879771
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