Feminist Review 116 (1):25-45 (2017)

Abstract
Insects and ‘the swarm’ as metaphors and objects of research have inspired works in the genres of science fiction and horror; social and political theorists; and the development of war-fighting technologies such as ‘drone swarms’, which function as robot/insect hybrids. Contemporary developments suggest that the future of warfare will not be ‘robots’ as technological, individualised substitutions for idealised warfighters, but warfighters understood as swarms: insect metaphors for non-centrally organised problem-solvers that will become technologies of racialisation. As such, contemporary feminist analysis requires an analysis of the politics of life and death in the insect and the swarm, which, following Braidotti, cannot be assumed to be a mere metaphor or representation of political life, but an animating materialist logic. The swarm is not only a metaphor but also a central mode of biopolitical and necropolitical war, with the ‘terrorist’ enemy represented as swarmlike as well. In analysing the relations of assemblage and antagonism in the war ontologies of the drone swarm, I seek inspiration from what Hayles describes as a double vision that ‘looks simultaneously at the power of simulation and at the materialities that produce it’. I discuss various representations and manifestations of swarms and insect life in science/speculative fiction, from various presentations of the ‘Borg’ in Star Trek, Alien and The Fly to more positive representations of the ‘becoming-insect’ as possible feminist Utopia in Gilman's Herland and Tiptree's Houston, Houston, Do You Read?. Posthuman warfare also contains the possibilities of both appropriating and rewriting antagonisms of masculine and feminine in the embodiment of the subject of war in the swarm. This piece seeks to analyse new ways of feminist theorising of the relations of power and violence in the embodiment of war as the swarm.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1057/s41305-017-0071-x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,856
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

When Species Meet.Donna J. Haraway - 2007 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection.Julia Kristeva - 1984 - Columbia University Press.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Zootechnologies: Swarming as a Cultural Technique.Sebastian Vehlken - 2013 - Theory, Culture and Society 30 (6):110-131.
A Fly in the Appointment: Posthuman-Insectoid-Cyberfeminist-Materiality.Ben Woodard - 2018 - In Svitlana Matviyenko & Judith Roof (eds.), Lacan and the Posthuman. Springer Verlag. pp. 89-111.
The Trouble with Insect Cyborgs.Adam Dodd - 2014 - Society and Animals 22 (2):153-173.
Beeing & Time: Kiss of Chemoreception & the Bug in Dasein's Mouth.Virgil W. Brower - 2014 - In Laurence Talairach-Vielmas & Marie Bouchet (eds.), Insects in Literature & the Arts. Brussels, Belgium: pp. 197-217.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-11-24

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes