La política como encuentro y respons-habilidad: Aprender a conversar con los otros enigmáticos


Rev. Estud. Fem.




Abstract Starting from the question of what the politics of new feminist materialisms could be, this article addresses the possibilities of (re-)conceptualizing the political in terms of encounters and involvedness, but not foremost as a matter of choice and decision but as “the only way you can figure you can stay alive” (Reagon, 1983). In our times of hegemonic anthropocentric rule of the political (Scott, 1999), I see important contributions of new (feminist) materialisms to the challenge of reconsidering our modes of encountering “others” (human and more-than-human), who, without necessarily playing by the rules, are nevertheless agentive forces. Acknowledging our fundamental dependency as living beings enmeshed in human and more-than-human worlds provides ethical grounds for working on modes of encountering “others” that accept and even embrace the fact that our own certainties will not remain stable in the process. I propose a reading of Judith Butler’s anti-foundationalist rethinking of humanist notions of intentionality and political agency (2011) through Karen Barad’s critique of her attribution of matter’s dynamism and historicity solely to the agency of language or culture (2007). I suggest that Butler’s rethinking of political subjectivity can be re-invigorated and sharpened, in light of Barad’s critique (2007), by revisiting Butler’s claim that matter is “a ‘that which’ which prompts and occasions”. I argue that this confounds any clear distinction of passivity and activity, thereby enabling a transformation of our understanding of subjectivity and agency in terms of being-with and responding to the enigmatic address of the other (Basile, 2005).

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