Wednesday, December 15, 2010
It is often the case, especially in IR, that "bodies" as they are discussed in the literature are human. Most of my research explores the ways we open this debate up to include other bodies in the world--like bacterial communities in our guts and the ocean, choanoflagellates, oil-eating bacteria in the gulf, to name just a few. And these are just the tiny ones.
When I started doing this research 5 years ago it seemed pretty out there and I had trouble finding much written on the subject. Science studies gave me what I needed to keep going. A steady diet of Latour and Serres and Haraway. And theorist Jane Bennett guiding me to read thinkers such as Jullien, Spinoza, and Dewey kept my political science interesting.
Now it just warms my heart to see articles about fantastic creatures popping up everywhere with quotes like this:
The world is full of microbes, and we spend a lot of worry and effort trying to keep them off and out of our bodies. It is humbling to ponder that still swimming within that microscopic soup are our distant cousins.*
So many bodies out there that affect our politics and bodies. Here's to greeting them with this kind of spirit.