Skip to main content

‘How to Write as Felt’ Touching Transmaterialities and More-Than-Human Intimacies

Abstract

In this paper, I invoke various matterings of felt in order to generate a practice of writing that engenders bodily difference that is affective, moving, and wooly. In attending to ‘how to write as felt,’ as a touching encounter, I consider how human and nonhuman matter composes (Haraway in Staying with the trouble: making Kin in the Chthulucene, Duke University Press, Durham, 2016). This co-mingling that felt performs enacts what Alaimo (Bodily natures: science, environment, and the material self, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2010; Exposed: Environmental politics and pleasures in posthuman times, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2016) calls transcorporeality. Connecting felt with theories of touch and transcorporeality becomes a way to open up and re-configure different bodily imaginaries, both human and nonhuman, that are radically immanent and intensive; as an assemblage of forces and flows that open bodies to helices and trans connections (Springgay and Truman in Body Soc 23(4):27–58, 2017b). My contribution to this collection on ‘humanity in a posthuman age’ is experimental and performative. Felt is activated not as a metaphor but rather poses questions about what writing does at the interstices between research and creation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. I use the term ‘writing’ as an expanded practice, which can or might include writing (as in a paper), the practice of making art or making something, and the doing of research. This I also refer to as a thinking-making-doing. Manning (2012) notes that “writing the more-than is to feel-with the world as it comes to expression, to feel-with the bare activity of wor(l)ding” (p. 156). This is a practice of co-composition.

  2. There have been a number of publications taking up the concept of proceduralism in qualitative research. Manning (2016) has written from a research-creation perspective arguing that we need to let go of procedural driven methods. Lather and St. Pierre (2013) and Maclure (2013) contend that data driven research and representationalism is modeled on knowability and rationality. For more contextualization on the various debates in Post Qualitative methodologies see Springgay and Truman (2017a).

  3. http://jenbervin.com/projects/silk-poems#2.

  4. http://www.leahdecter.com/official_denial/home.html.

  5. https://mariahupfield.wordpress.com/.

  6. The Bush Salons are the collective efforts of Africa Taylor and Lesley Instone and typically take place in Wee Jasper, New South Wales, Australia. See here for more information: https://collectivewalkingmethods.wordpress.com/category/wee-jasper-bush-salons/; http://commonworlds.net/bush-salon-wee-jasper-july-2015/.

References

  • Ahmed, S. 2004. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. New York, NY: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alaimo, S. 2010. Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Alaimo, S. 2016. Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Barad, K. 2003. Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28 (3): 801–831.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barad, K. 2007. Meeting the Universe Half Way: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Barad, K. 2012. On Touching—The Inhuman That Therefore I Am. Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 23 (3): 206–223.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barad, K. 2015. Transmaterialities: Trans*/Matter/Realities and Queer Political Imaginings. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 21 (2–3): 387–422.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blackman, L. 2012. Immaterial Bodies: Affect, Embodiment, Mediation. London: Sage.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Chen, M.Y. 2012. Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Cohen, J.J. 2015. Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Colebrook, C. 2015. What Is It Like to be a Human? TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 2 (2): 227–243.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Collard, R., J. Dempsy, and J. Sundberg. 2015. A Manifesto for Abundant Futures. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105 (2): 322–330.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cvetkovich, A. 2003. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Deleuze, G. (1953–1974). Desert Islands and OTHER texts. Retrieved April 2015 https://archive.org/stream/DesertIslandsAndOtherTexts/GillesDeleuzeDesertIslandsAndOtherTexts1953-1974_djvu.txt.

  • Deleuze, G. 1993. The Fold. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deleuze, G., and F. Guattari. 1987. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freccero, C. 2011. Carnivorous Virility, or Becoming Dog. Social Text 106 29 (1): 177–195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haraway, D. 2008. When Species Meet. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haraway, D. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the CHTHULUCENE. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Hustak, C., and N. Myers. 2012. Involutionary Momentum: Affective Ecologies and the Sciences of Plant/Insect Encounters. Differences 23 (3): 74–118.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, Z.I. 2013. Animal: New Directions in the Theorization of Race and Posthumanism. Feminist Studies 39 (3): 669–685.

    Google Scholar 

  • King, T.L. 2017. Humans Involved: Lurking in the Lines of Posthumanist Flight. Critical Ethnic Studies Journal 3 (1): 162–185.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lather, P., and E.A. St. Pierre. 2013. Post-qualitative Research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 26 (6): 629–633.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Livingstone, J., and J. Puar. 2011. Interspecies. Social Text 106 29 (1): 3–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Maclure, M. 2013. The Wonder of Data. Cultural Studies, Critical Methodologies 13 (4): 228–232.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Manning, E. 2007. Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Manning, E. (2012). Always More than One: Individuation's Dance. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Manning, E. 2016. The Minor Gesture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Manning, E., and B. Massumi. 2014. Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Miner, D. forthcoming/2019. Mawadisidiwag miinawaa Wiidanokiindiwag//They Visit and Work Together. In Makers, Crafters, Educators: Working for Social Change, eds., E. Garber, L. Hochtritt, and M. Sharma. New York: Routledge.

  • O’Grady, A. (2017). Swimming Lessons a Developing a Water Pedagogy to Examine the Entangled, Material, and Intra-Active Enmeshments Between Water, Bodies, and Knowledges. Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of Toronto.

  • Parker, R. 2010. The Subversive Stitch. London: I. B. Tauris.

    Google Scholar 

  • Puar, J. 2009. Prognosis Time: Towards a Geopolitics of Affect, Debility and Capacity. Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory 19 (2): 161–172.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rogoff, I. 2008. What is a Theorist? In The State of Art Criticism, ed. J. Elkins and M. Newman. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rotas, N., and S. Springgay. 2014. How Do You Make a Classroom Operate Like a Work of Art? Deleuzeguattarian Methodologies of Research-Creation. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 28 (5): 552–572.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serres, M. 1991. The Book of Foundations. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2016.1226777.

  • Spady, Sam. 2017. Reflections on Late Identity: In Conversation with Melanie J. Newton, Nirmala Erevelles, Kim TallBear, Rinaldo Walcott, and Dean Itsuji Saranillio. Journal of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association 3 (1): 90–115.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S. 2008. Body Knowledge and Curriculum: Pedagogies of Touch in Youth and Visual Culture. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S. 2011. “The Chinatown Foray” as Sensational Pedagogy. Curriculum Inquiry 41: 636–656.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S. 2013a. How to be an Artist by Night: Critical Public Pedagogy and Double Ontology. In Problematizing Public Pedagogy Handbook, ed. J. Sandlin, M. O’Malley, and J. Burdick, 133–148. New York, NY: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S. 2013b. The Pedagogical Impulse: Aberrant Residencies and Classroom Ecologies. C Magazine for Art and Culture.

  • Springgay, S. 2014. Approximate-Rigorous-Abstractions: Propositions of Activation for Posthumanist Research. In Posthumanism and Educational Research, ed. N. Snaza and J. Weaver, 76–90. NY: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S. 2015. Working with Children as Pedagogies of Refusal. In Multiple Elementary, ed. H. Jickling and H. Reed, 64–68. Toronto: YYZ Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S. 2016a. Towards a Rhythmic Account of Working Together and Taking Part. Research in Education 96 (1): 71–77.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S. 2016b. Meditating with Bees: Weather Bodies and a Pedagogy of Movement. In Pedagogical Matters: New Materialism and Curriculum Studies, ed. N. Snaza, D. Sonu, S.E. Truman, and Z. Zaliwska, 59–74. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S., and S.E. Truman. 2017a. On the Need for Methods Beyond Proceduralism: Speculative Middles, (In)tensions, and Response-Ability in Research. Qualitative Inquiry 24 (3): 203–214.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S., and S.E. Truman. 2017b. A Transmaterial Approach to Walking Methodologies: Embodiment, Affect, and a Sonic Art Performance. Body & Society. 23 (4): 27–58.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S., and S.E. Truman. 2017c. Stone Walks: Inhuman Animacies and Queer Archives of Feeling. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 38 (6): 851–863.

    Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S., and S.E. Truman. 2018. Walking Methodologies in a More-Than-Human World. London, UK: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Springgay, S., and Truman, S. E. forthcoming. Queering Temporalities, Activating QTBIPOC Subjectivities and World-Makings: Walking Research-Creation. MAI: Feminist Visual Culture. http://maifeminism.com/.

  • St. Pierre, E., 2017. Deleuze and Guattari’s language for new empirical inquiry. Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (11): 1080–1089.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, C. 2011. Felt: Fluxus, Joseph Beuys, and the Dalai Lama. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Todd, Zoe. 2016. An Indigenous Feminist’s Take on the Ontological turn: ‘Ontology’ is Just Another Word for Colonialism. Journal of Historical Sociology 29 (1): 4–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Truman, S.E. 2016. Becoming More Than It Never (Actually) Was: Expressive Writing as Research-Creation. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy 13 (2): 136–143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Truman, S.E., and S. Springgay. 2015. The Primacy of Movement in Research-Creation: New Materialist Approaches to Art Research and Pedagogy. In Art’s Teachings, Teaching’s Art: Philosophical, Critical, and Educational Musings, ed. M. Laverty and T. Lewis, 151–164. New York: Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Vaccaro, J. 2010. Felt Matters. Women & Performance 20 (3): 253–266.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vaccaro, J. 2015. Feelings and Fractals: Woolly Ecologies of Transgender Matter. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 21 (2–3): 273–293.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yusoff, K. 2017. Epochal Aesthetics: Affectual Infrastructures of the Anthropocene, vol. 92. New York: E-flux.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zaliwska, Z. (2017). Untimely Research: Making time as Existential Post-qualitative Research Practice. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Toronto.

  • Zaliwska, Z., and S. Springgay. 2015. Diagrams and Cuts: A Materialist Approach to Research-Creation. Cultural Studies, Critical Methodologies 15 (2): 136–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

Funding for this research is from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stephanie Springgay.

Additional information

This manuscript is part of the Special Issue: Storying ruptures as educational practice. Heather Greenhalgh-Spencer and Zofia Zaliwska, Guest Editors.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Springgay, S. ‘How to Write as Felt’ Touching Transmaterialities and More-Than-Human Intimacies. Stud Philos Educ 38, 57–69 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-018-9624-5

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11217-018-9624-5

Keywords

  • Felt
  • Transmateriality
  • Transcorporeality
  • Touch
  • Research-creation
  • Writing