Cultural Studies

Download The Poetics of DNA (Posthumanities) by Judith Roof PDF

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By Judith Roof

How has DNA grow to be obvious as a cosmic fact, consultant of all lifestyles, power for all remedies, repository for all id, and finish to all tales? In The Poetics of DNA, Judith Roof examines the increase of this robust image and the results of its ascendancy for the methods we think—about ourselves, approximately each other, and concerning the universe.
Descriptions of DNA, Roof argues, have distorted principles and reworked nucleic acid into the reply to all questions of lifestyles. This hyperbolized thought of DNA, necessarily harassed or conflated with the “gene,” has turn into a vector by which older methods of pondering can merge with the recent, advancing long-discredited and insidious rules approximately things like eugenics and racial choice and influencing modern debates, relatively the preferred press obsession with the “gay gene.” via metaphors of DNA, she contends, racist and homophobic ideology is masked as innovative technology.
Grappling with twentieth-century highbrow hobbies in addition to modern societal anxieties, The Poetics of DNA unearths how descriptions of DNA and genes typify a bigger set of epistemological battles that play out not just in the course of the assumptions linked to DNA but additionally via much less glaring equipment of magical pondering, reductionism, and pseudoscience.
For the 1st time, Roof exposes the ideology and cultural effects of DNA and gene metaphors to discover how, finally, they're paradigms used to recreate prejudices.
Judith Roof is professor of English and movie experiences at Michigan country collage. She is the writer of numerous books, together with All approximately Thelma and Eve: Sidekicks and 3rd Wheels.

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Sample text

DNA isn’t what it is because that is what it is. Rather, the emphasis on structure and function attached to our understandings of DNA are the capping response to several centuries of reductionism and dialecticism. Second, the analogies derived from DNA’s position as a structural answer to questions of life and deployed to describe and explain DNA genes are also metaphors that import particular compensations or remedies for the cultural fears excited by the discovery of DNA and other systemic ways of thinking.

5 Science, knowledge, truth exist in the primary and irreducible. ” Although there is nothing intrinsic to Aristotle’s formulations that suggests that such primary causes need to be smaller than the phenomena they produce (and sometimes they are ideas instead of substances), the very notion of breaking something down into more basic elements—analysis—depends on a metaphor of spatial fragmentation, which, if taken literally, results in the impression that primary elements are smaller than the phenomena they underlie.

In these an individual is born but grows up as too fat, ugly, or geeky and is thus destined for an unhappy end. Chemical formulas intercede to alter the individual’s detour into idiosyncrasy, making (usually) his story normal—that is, successful and fulfilling, especially in the area of romance. The problem is that magic bullets introduce chaos and disappointment that teach us that the normal course of events was okay in the first place. In intervening in the story, science is the wrong story. The pervasiveness of this basic narrative paradigm means that it is common to represent the problems science addresses as flawed versions of the story.

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