Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium. FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse explores the roles of stories, figures, dreams, theories, facts, delusions, advertising, institutions, economic arrangements, publishing practices, scientific advances, and politics in twentieth- century technoscience.
The book's title is an e-mail address. With it, Haraway locates herself and her readers in a sprawling net of associations more far-flung than the Internet. The address is not a cozy home. There is no innocent place to stand in the world where the book's author figure, FemaleMan, encounters DuPont's controversial laboratory rodent, OncoMouse.
Haraway sees the world of contemporary technoscience as a drama. Information sciences and life sciences are at the center of the dramatic action. Scenes are set in landscapes where maps of human genetic differences are stored in databases, racialized bodies are reconfigured by morphing for photographs in popular magazines, and transgenic mice important to breast cancer research are patented intellectual property.
The actors are many, and not all are human. Beginning with the Modest Witness, the key figure in the Science Revolution, Haraway shows us the trouble lurking in race and gender- marked practices for attesting to matters of fact. In later scenes, Haraway explores the kinship relations among the many cyborg creatures produced in the late twentieth-century--in nuclear research, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, computer-mediated representational practices, and mutations in biological approaches to "race."