Applying recent thinking on gender and the environment to original research in science and technology, this unique book explores postcolonial relationships with `the wild` using the US and Russia as examples. The authors analyse contemporary categorizations of `human self` versus `wild other` through three twentieth century icons that best illustrate ambivalent ideas about self and other: spaceships, horoscopes and dolphins. The book includes interviews with astrologers, wilderness guides, dolphin trainers and academic staff of space agencies from both Russia and the US.The interviews highlight some interesting differences between these two cultures in ideas both about gender and about self/other boundaries. The authors also look at representations of the space race in film and science fiction in both cultures, as well as New Age and other texts on dolphins, astrology and space travel.
Cosmodolphins shows how all three icons partly reproduce and partly alter the earlier, colonial self/other dichotomy of woman, native and nature against the `civilized` technologically masterful male self. We see how a particular icon of the wild - the dolphin - is elevated to mythological status, how a secularized society looks for spiritual fulfilment in the `beyond` - astrology - and in its own technological advances - space travel. Theoretically innovative, this book represents an alternative approach to ecofeminist themes linking them up with studies of new technocultures and cyborgs. It forms an excellent exemplar of feminist cultural studies.