Saturday, November 13, 2010

mapping disciplinary trajectories

Tuesday, 16 November – mapping disciplinary trajectories
• Hekman, Material: Intro & Chaps 1, 2 (finish book)
• Clarke, Situated: Prologue & Chaps 1, 2 (xxi-81) & “Mapping Historical Discourses” (261-291) (xerox)
• Star, “Knowledge weaving” (emailed): actually read the whole thing:
Bauchspies, W. K., & Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2009). “Feminist science and technology studies: A patchwork of moving subjectivities. An interview with Geoffrey Bowker, Sandra Harding, Anne Marie Mol, Susan Leigh Star and Banu Subramaniam.” Subjectivity (2009) 28, 334–344. [We don't have subscription at UMD.]
• (optional): my website for Oxford talk:  

Situate, contrast and assemble the sorts of methods in display and use among these authors and their respective communities of practice and interest. Why mapping? Consider possible mappings across and with some of the materials we have worked with and worked out so far.

Tuesday, 23 November – THANKSGIVING BREAK
• (optional): read Haraway, Companion Species Manifesto  

• (optional): investigate Bruno Latour's website. I recommend Article 77: How to talk about the body  

• links for fun of various sorts:
= from Bryan: Cross-Species Dining from Edible Geography
= Polypolis
• another book recommended as possibly under this large umbrella of feminist innovative understandings of materiality:  Agency and Embodiment by Carrie Noland

Of Clarke's book: remember our class interest here is not in evangelizing or prescribing any methods described and articulated here, but rather to put this approach to qualitative analysis into conversation with other "materialist" approaches we have been examining under some very capacious notion of "new material feminisms." And without prescribing the "new" either -- but rather analyzing it too, as we gets hints about how to do in Weston, for example. What needs do Clarke's claims or mappings work to fulfill? 

xxiii: "It enhances our capacities to do incisive studies of differences of perspective, of highly complex situations of action and positionality, of the heterogeneous discourses in which we are all constantly awash, and of the situated knowledges of life itself thereby produced. What I am ultimately grappling toward are approaches that can simultaneously address voice and discourse, texts and the 
 consequential materialities and symbolisms of the nonhuman, the dynamics of historical change, and, last but far from least, power in both its more solid and fluid forms. The outcomes of situational analysis should be 'thick analysis' (Fosket 2002:40), paralleling Geertz' (1973) 'thick descriptions.' Thick analyses take explicitly into account the full array of elements in the situation and explicate their interrelations.... the grounded theory method can be viewed as a theory/methods package."

xxiii: "Postmodernism is 'the as yet unnamable which begins to proclaim itself.'    -- Derrida (quoted by Lather 1991:160)"

how might we shift assumptions about "post" and posting by taking this definition seriously? what does it do to words like "new"? how does it work WITH Weston's generational analyses around the figure of the old butch at the bar? [Wikipedia on postpositivism

xxxv: [accommodating] "nonhuman objects (technologies, animals, discourses, historical documents, visual representations, etc.). Such material entities in our situations of concern deserve more explicit and intentional inclusion in our research and analyses. Just as 'nature' and 'society' are not separate but 'make each other up' -- are coconstitutive -- so too do humans and nonhuman objects (e.g., Haraway 1989, 2003; Latour 1987; McCarthy 1984; Mead 1934/1962). The semiotics of materiality matter and materiality is relational (Law 1999: 4). Any method that ignores the materialities of human existence is inadequate, especially today as humans and various technosciences are together transforming the planet from the inside out (e.g., Clarke, Shim, Mamo, Fosket, & Fishman 2003)."

xxxviii: "...assert the sufficiency of sensitizing concepts and analytics for a fresh approach to grounded theorizing rather than the development of high modernist formal theory." 
3-4: [searching] "for a method that could travel across some of the usual divides of the academy without violating // core disciplinary and/or social science/humanities concerns." 
4: the coconstitution of ontology, epistemology, and practice = theory/methods packages

From Latour, Body:  "Equipped with such a 'patho-logical' definition of the body, one is not obliged to define an essence, a substance (what the body is by nature), but rather, I will argue, an interface that becomes more and more describable when it learns to be affected by many more elements. The body is thus not a provisional residence of something superior —an immortal soul, the universal, or thought— but what leaves a dynamic trajectory by which we learn to register and become sensitive to what the world is made of. Such is the great virtue of this definition : there is no sense in defining the body directly, but only in rendering the body sensitive to what these other elements are. By focusing on the body, one is immediately —or rather, mediately— directed to what the body has become aware of. This is my way of interpreting James' sentence : 'Our body itself is the palmary instance of the ambiguous' (James, 1996 [1907])."

37: quoting Lather (1999:137): "Moving across levels of the particular and the abstract, trying to avoid a transcendent purchase on the object of study, we set ourselves up for necessary failure in order to learn how to find our way into postfoundational possibilities."

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