Care, aliveness and breakdown: transforming human-soil affections through science, culture and community
Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Faculty Candidate Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Associate Professor, University of Leicester
Monday February 27, 2017 | 6:15PM
3201 Hart Hall
A feminist politics of care fosters practical, affective, and ethically consequential agencies that are indispensable for the everyday reproduction of collective life and yet remain neglected and marginalised. While thought mostly as a human concern, everyday care and maintenance depends on the contribution of, mostly coerced, non-human forms of life. This talk presents visions of the soil that have emerged as a response to its neglect and abuse by productionism and extractivism. In contrast with the lifeless soils of anthropocenic imaginaries, connecting scientific research, cultural interventions, and community engagements reveals common leitmotifs in an emerging soil-care movement that appeals to soil’s aliveness to assert its critical significance. Combining modes of attention of feminist science and technology studies and ecofeminist thinking allows to expose these emergent relations to soil as transformative modes of affection with ethical and practical implications. Awareness of human-soil interdependency decentres human agency and nurtures a more-than-human sense of community which depends on embracing breakdown as an ecological obligation.
Maria Puig de la Bellacasa is an Associate Professor at the University of Leicester. She works at the intersection of feminist theory, science and technology studies and the environmental humanities. Her most recent book Matters of Care. Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds is due to be published with the University of Minnesota Press in March 2017. She has previously published two monographs on feminist knowledge politics (L’Harmattan 2013 and 2014) and is currently working on a book, The Reanimation of Soils, and a co-edited volume, Reactivating Elements. Substance, Process and Method between Chemistry and Cosmology (Duke University Press).
Informal social meet and greet for students and faculty, Feb. 27, GSW Seminar Room, Hart Hall, 3-4 pm.