Précis "Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene"

Donna Haraway, in Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, proposes alternatives to the dominant tendency to name our current epoch the Anthropocene, or Capitalocene. First, Haraway offers more complex and nuanced metaphors for conceptualizing relationships such as “string figures” and “tentacular thinking.” Then, she extends those frameworks to the idea of “sympoiesis,” or making-with in contrast with the more commonly known “autopoiesis,” or self-making. As a result, Haraway elaborates how these modalities call for the new slogan “making kin, not babies” to accompany her more widely known “cyborgs for earthly survival.” Finally, she presents several examples of the kind of interconnected “sympoiesis” she has described, both fictional and otherwise. Donna Haraway writes this important work of critical theory in order to contest the perpetuated “bounded individuality” inherent in conceptions like the Anthropocene or Capitalocene, and to help us understand that “it matters which ideas we think other ideas with.”


Works Cited

Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Experimental Futures). Duke University Press Books.