Rooms of possibilities: Making spaces for posthumanist (un)doings.

Caton, Lucy; Cooke, Carolyn; Puntil, Donata and Vackova, Petra (2022). Rooms of possibilities: Making spaces for posthumanist (un)doings. In: European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Feb 2022, Online.



The Dream Team session is an opportunity for us to think about what it means to be a community in the post-digital era and help us to trouble and re-imagine the possibilities of coming together in/around/with the virtual, specifically in academia. In this session we set out to account for the conditions of our bio-digital presence, that is the coming together of the material and the virtual worlds, its possibilities as well as limitations, in order to challenge digital capitalism and power-relations, and instead engage in processes of communing that are contextually meaningful, ethical, and affirmative. Braidotti (2019) writes “being worthy of the present is not intended in a passive and acquiescent manner, but rather in an active mode, as a way of coming to terms with the present, in order to intervene in it and transform it.” We therefore take up the challenge outlined by Peters and Jandrić (2019) to respond to the continuous reinvention of the human and the digital and develop a new language of inquiry that accounts for this changing relationship. Thinking with Massey’s (2006:46) conceptualization of place, the physical and virtual rooms in which we work and meet, ‘as events, as happenings, as moments that will be again dispersed,’ we will explore what it means and how it feels to cross the boundaries of our rooms, both physical and virtual. How do props, language, bodies, and objects come to matter in our physical and virtual places? How does the blurring of ‘the other’, the coming together of the virtual and the material, within our rooms co-produces new possibilities for working productively? Massey’s (2005:9) conceptualization of place therefore provides a helpful provocation and opening to new ways of attending to bio-digital spaces as she argues that space “is never finished; it is never closed,” moreover it is “constituted through interactions, from the immensity of the global to the intimately tiny.” As such, we propose that bio-digital spaces that are situated and time dependant are also in a constant state of change and intra-action with us and our work and thus allow us to inquire about what we are not only ceasing to be but also what we are becoming in the post-digital, post-covid, post-truth, and post-humanist times. Together with the participants we will therefore wander through our rooms, literal and imaginative, and invite participants to engage in a series of creative writing activities in order to develop an in-the-moment collaborative writing inquiry and make spaces for posthumanist (un)doings.

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