Academic Abomination of the Week: Time Traveling Dogs?

The time-travel trope of so many science fiction stories are hard enough to take, but what do you get when you cross time-travel with feminist theory? You get this, in the journal Cultural Studies:

Time Traveling Dogs (and Other Native Feminist Ways to Defy Dislocations)

Angie Morrill, University of Oregon


In this article, I analyze a painting by Modoc/Klamath artist Peggy Ball through a Native feminist reading methodology. The painting, Vanport, is named after a city that disappeared in a flood in 1948. The artist survived that flood, and displacement as did thousands of others. The painting is a rememory map of dislocations and hauntings and disappearances. The painting remaps gentrified dislocations, telling stories that focus on the relationship of the present to the past and the past to the future. The painting itself is a Native feminist practice. The travel to places gone, to places that will reappear again; by people gone as well as by people presently alive; into times that existed, that never existed, that will exist again; to times made contemporaneous by time traveling dogs; with people co-present through desire—at the heart of all this time travel is recognition and survivance.

But this doesn’t appear to answer the crucial question: how exactly do you measure time travel in dog years? Wouldn’t there by some kind of quantum problem, with humans and dogs arriving at different times from the same machine? I know it worked for Rocky and Bullwinkle in their Wayback Machine, but that was a cartoon, and this is real life time travel we’re talking about now. And what would this author make of Whistler’s Mother, not to mention the classic painting of dogs playing poker?

As always, non-subscribers to Cultural Studies can obtain this article from Sage Publications for the modest price of $36.

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