A Schizoanalysis of Emerging Biotechnologies: Renaturalized Nature, the Disclosed Secret of Life, and Technologically Authentic Selfhood

T. Sharon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The essay argues that Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's schizoanalysis is a particularly helpful means of framing critical readings of emerging biotechnologies. It not only offers a terminology for articulating the tension between the deconstrtictive and destabilizing effects of new technologies versus their potential to reinforce traditional patterns of power, it can also push these analyses further. The complex movements of de- and reterritorialization-in which reterritorialization is never just the reconstitution of a system of meaning that has been unsettled by schizophrenic energies, but is always the production of a new one, in which deterritorialized elements connect in different ways can help us account for the richness of new meanings and uses of foundational terms. The important question then becomes not how and if deterritorialized elements are being reterritorialized, but rather if the reterritorializations that are taking place are positive or negative ones. Drawing on some recent ethnographic work that focuses on how users integrate and normalize the use of different biomedical technologies, the essay discusses how foundational terms are de- and reterritorialized in three examples: nature in the context of assisted reproduction, life in the genomic sciences, and authentic selfhood in the context of the neurosciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-460
Number of pages30
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011



Cite this