The personal is political is theoretical: new materialist proposals for practices of care

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

I will concentrate on how we may conceptualize caring practices - and I would like to suggest a multi-compassionate, distributed and multi-visioned concept of care. Judith Butler reminds us that whenever we make an effort to include marginalized positionings and subjects, and in so doing to dissolve boundaries and enact new phenomena, new social categories, in agential realist terms new forms of material-discursive phenomena, we need to ask ourselves:
Which new boundaries are produced by this (well-intentioned inclusive, formation changing, deconstructive) movement? Which new forms of demarcation, of taken-for-granted and discursive and materializing reiterations; which new forms of asymmetry – or from the perspective of agential realism which new forms of material-discursive agential cuts – are enacted? Thinking with a new materialist perspective: What effects do such well-intentioned re-enactments have for the human and non-human; for what Haraway terms terran critters; for apparatuses producing earthly vitality, or vital worlds?
The caring practices of human animals, I argue – enacted as we are with particular capacities to perform and share affective-analytical processing – contain particular obligations when entering the apparatuses of which we are, in terms of a multi-visioned perspective in order to decrease the selectivity embedded in the practices of care. This multi-visioned perspective implies a capacity, and an openness and willingness, to distribute compassion among various positionings and among enacting forces and earthlings in the apparatuses of which we are.

Original languageEnglish
Publication year7 Jun 2017
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017
EventNew Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How matter comes to matter' COST Action IS1307: 8th Annual Conference on the New Materialisms - UNESCO Building, Paris, France
Duration: 7 Jun 20179 Jun 2017
Conference number: 8


ConferenceNew Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on 'How matter comes to matter' COST Action IS1307
LocationUNESCO Building
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Agential realist ethics, Selective care, Ethics and multi-visioned perspective, Ethico-onto-epistemology, Ethics of care

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