Following up on my metaphor of knowledge as fire I want to offer an alternative metaphor for which to describe knowledge and its (de)-construction by way of lights and prisms.

I propose that a white light symbolize knowledge and almighty “truth”. This truth seems almost undeniable and universal. Light is light. Shine a light on a dollar gill and you’ll see a green dollar bill. But light is not as simple as I’m making it seem or as easy as our eyes and mind lets us perceive and take in.

Objects appear different colours because they absorb some colours (wavelengths) and reflected or transmit other colours. … For example, a red shirt looks red because the dye molecules in the fabric have absorbed the wavelengths of light from the violet/blue end of the spectrum. Colours of light — Science Learning Hub

Light, or white light [I use white light to describe the type of light needed to see an object in its intended color] is made up of many wavelengths which contains different colors once exposed to a prism. It is through a prism that the light fractures and splits into all visible light, creating a rainbow of sorts.

It is this rainbow that makes up the white light by which we are able to make visible that which we could not see otherwise.

Now that I’ve given brief remarks about light and its complexity lets consider for a moments that the prism here represents intersectional feminist technology. Through the prism, like intersectional feminist technologies, we are able to see a spectrum of colors, or viewpoints/epistemologies, that make complex our understanding of an object. Like how the prism refracts a blinding white light into different colors so too must we take apart existing knowledges and apply a different lens from which to make sense of our work.

Now one can use many objects like a prism to refract light into colors, but that sometimes is not the best way to see a full spectrum of light. It is our responsibility to find other prisms from which to understand and comprehend. Here are examples of prisms and their different refractions.

This should encourage one to seek out the right lens as prism.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s