Is biotechnology deconstructing animal domestication? Movements toward liberation

Twine, R. (2013) Is biotechnology deconstructing animal domestication? Movements toward liberation. Configurations, 21(2), pp. 135-158. (doi:10.1353/con.2013.0011)

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It might be assumed that the application of genomics to the production of farmed animals represents a move of acceleration, a broadening and an elaboration of what might be possible in terms of the instrumental shaping of animal bodies to the demands of capital. However, this would be to yield too much to hubristic assumptions about the human control of science and technological innovation, and to discount alternative deployments and provocations of the molecular imaginary. Accordingly, this essay explores the potential of molecular biology to contest an already troubled distinction between wild and domesticated. Within this capability to further undermine the distinction resides a potentially important contribution to the formation of a molecular animal-liberatory imaginary. Although the technique of de-domestication has been discussed in relation to conservation projects, the essay assesses whether it could have a role in the liberation of farmed animals. Adopting a critical perspective toward the imaginary, toward de-domestication, and, indeed, toward assumptions around the meanings of liberation, the essay foregrounds various intersecting notions of temporality as vital both to the explication of biotechnological ambivalence and to the complexities of movements toward animal liberation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Twine, Dr Richard
Authors: Twine, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Configurations
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts
ISSN (Online):1080-6520

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