Knowledge valves. Or, keeping cultural studies going.

Stephen Muecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When Donna Haraway wrote about situated knowledges back in 1988, she stressed that the 'partial perspective' offered by a feminist vision could provide greater objectivity because it eschewed the transcendent masculinist vision of the 'god eye'.11 I find her idea energising because it gives me a way to say that local descriptions (which is where any good analysis must start) can link up with each other in a local-to-local fashion, without being first shunted though the global/universal. Because of knowledge valves, these so-called Western knowledge forms are able to persist, to feed more knowledge in, making sure in the process that the knowledge of the Other is translated, on the way out, into something relevant for the modern science in question, to the point where one wonders: was the whole idea to create good, useful knowledge, or was it to assist that universalising mission that started way back in Europe? Examples of knowledge valves: 1) Call your Indigenous collaborator an 'informant', rather than an expert, colleague or named co-author. 2) Visualise everything through rectangles (viewfinders, picture windows, etc) to keep that renaissance perspectivism in place. 3) Translate reliability into numbers (statistics, dates, measurements).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-246
Number of pages3
JournalCultural Studies Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019. This work is published under (the “License”). Notwithstanding the ProQuest Terms and Conditions, you may use this content in accordance with the terms of the License.


  • Knowledge valves
  • Cultural Studies
  • situated knowledges
  • Western knowledge forms


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