As one of the key texts in my research for this topic, Haraway’s Teddy Bear Patriarchy describes the inherent bias in creating the African Hall of. Donna Haraway’s work, “Teddy Bear Patriarchy: Taxidermy in the Garden of Eden, New York City “, demonstrates the ability of. Reading: Teddy Bear Patriarchy – Donna Haraway This essay is not difficult, but is not short. Please devote time and take notes. This is.

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The basic idea behind the tefdy was to design a space within an urban environment that would foster the value and nobility of nature that were presumed to be intrinsic of the non-civilized world. Stuffing the pelts of animals, killed for the purpose of exhibition, would foster a respect for the natural world, and as well instill a sense of masculinity in the young men who would frequent the space.

The man charged with the task of designing such a space was Carl Aekely.

He wanted to display animals within their own habitats. Instead of featuring a white tailed deer alone on a pedestal separated form its natural context, the deer would instead be featured behind glass, surrounded by plants made of wax and wire, and harawway to be frozen in time.

By placing the animals in specific positions they could transmit desired messages to the patrons. For Aekely this was to transmit the virtue of nature, and this would not only shape the young dohna who would see it, but also instill a sense of respect for it as well. Of course this is all tied up into theories of eugenics, and how to bring about a better society through social hygiene. Who will be the dlnna who populate these new nations? How will Brazil be able to produce citizens who are not doomed by African heritage?

How will France produce ideal children through schools? Most importantly who will be selected to even participate in these projects, and who will be left out and what will happen to them Similarly who makes the cut to be shown behind glass? Leading into WWII, and the advancement into modernity, revealed a certain fervor for control that had never truly been possible beforehand. Entering into dlnna new century with nation states trying to govern, and modern science revealing new origins to Humans the stage was set for eugenics to become a bold new field in governing for the future.


Certain individuals could be sent into certain spaces, and come out virtuous. In this way these spaces are almost like churches of the state.

A Church, as in the building, is an instrument of a larger Church, as in the institution, which instills values upon parishioners. It is patriarhcy center of community and authority.

With the rise of nation-sates in Europe, the fall of the Aristocratic nature of the Southern Slavocracy after the American Civil War, and ever growing number of new subjects to be governed in the expanding empires something new had to come up as a way of instilling values that commanded obedience to the state. The Church is a powerful tool to instill this, but it also demands obedience to the Bible and to an all powerful God above obedience to the state. Of course national churches, such as the Anglican Church where Queen Elizabeth II is in charge, do serve the function of installing the virtue of the state, but so do museums, libraries, public school and war memorials like the tomb of the unknown soldier.

These new spaces claim and uphold the virtue of the state by claiming it to be enlightened. It knows best, and as such it knows in what direction the people should move.

The state proclaimed virtue of nature stresses the finding of virtue outside of the realm the church, and in the sacred landscape of the nation. The ultimate question once again though is what are these redeemed citizens going to look like, and more importantly who is a candidate for redemption? Of course following WWII the appeal of eugenics faded, and rightfully so, but ideas of programing remained. With computers, television and the rest of what is mass media programing is seeming more and more so a part of our lives.


The ideal citizen is increasingly the citizen who can operate within the cybernetic world, which of course means the citizen who has access to the this world.

New Feature: AmericanScience Re-reads the Classics; or, Teddy Bear Patriarchy in 2016

How will these new machines, smart spaces, and portable devices alter the way we act as citizens, and how will it shape our governments? And as well, who are the programers and what is that they intend to create? The painting shows the ideal transformation of citizens from black ancestors, typically women, to white grandchildren.

The idea was that a whiter society would be a prosperous society, thus white men were encouraged to marry Afro-Brazilian women to produce mixed race children, who would marry other white men to eventually produce white children.

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Donna Haraway: Teddy Bear Patriarchy | curatingcreating

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