Friday, 3 December 2010

Neo-Pagan Witches and Speculative Realism

Just glanced at Harman's blog summaries of the talk by Isabelle Stengers and response from Donna Haraway at the Whitehead conference in Claremont. Given my research and teaching interests, I was literally blown away by these two comments:
7:34. Isabelle Stengers has learned a great deal form the abstractions of the neo-pagan witches.
8:01. Stengers. Neo-pagan witches are important, and she discusses them with her philosophy students.
Bizarre, surprising and exciting, all at the same time; perhaps the time of the speculative realist pentad is approaching.


Scu said...

Stengers comes back to the example of witches frequently in her work. Here is one example, but there are many more.

Paul Reid-Bowen said...

Thanks for this Scu, I'd be interested to know if she is simply using the cultural and mythic trope and stereotype of the witch, or whether she has actually read some of the contemporary Wiccans and witches. It was always clear that Haraway had engaged to some degree, if only to move beyond them with her claim that she would rather be a cyborg than a goddess. But I'm a litte surprised by Stengers, although certainly not in a bad way.

Scu said...

I know she has dealt with neo-paganism in some serious ways before.

So, in her article on notes toward an ecology of practices, she talks specifically about the work of neo-pagan witches.
The discussion of neo-pagans comes at the very last section.
This article takes up the same issues as the article I linked before, but in more detail.

And while she only mentions neo-paganism in passing in this piece, it brings together both of our interests.

Also, if you know French, there are way more options. Anyway, yes, Stengers talks about neo-pagans all the time, and seriously. But Starhawk is the major influence.

Paul Reid-Bowen said...

Cheers for all of this,