Feminist new materialisms: Activating ethico-politics through genealogies in social sciences

Published on 25 September 2018 par Institut du genre

New materialisms refer to a specific ethico-political and onto-epistemological turn that is deeply committed to de-centralizing knowledge production, cutting across pre-established dichotomies, and focusing on processes transversing hierarchies of power relations that organize diverse forms of life. In particular, it is a methodology of situating material-discursive practices that form specific socio-cultural phenomena via a relational ontology in which different elements come to being through intra-actions and agency materializes and redefines itself as a more than isolated human agency.

Often, the more recognition new materialisms get in academia, the less space and time is devoted to their ethico-political frames. As a result, the feminist, queer, postcolonial, and ecological stakes are given less attention and importance; the ethico-political frames of feminist new materialisms are amputated from the onto-epistemological turn. In the forthcoming issue of “Social Sciences”, the editors are committed to stressing the importance of ethico-political frames to feminist new materialisms.

We would like to put new materialisms to work for feminist, queer, postcolonial, ecological practices, since we want to invite one to understand feminism with new materialisms and vice-versa. Our approach to this field of research is strongly marked by the concepts of genealogies (van der Tuin, 2015), feminicity (Colman, 2014), diffracting diffraction (Barad, 2014), and the processes of becoming and sense-making of our own flexible and multiple identities (Braidotti 2013). That is, our approach has to do with how we build, contemporaneously, our epistemological genealogies affectively to produce points of activitation for feminist, queer, postcolonial, and ecological practices. We invite one to investigate examples for new social bondings and community building beyond identity politics, and we look for contributions dealing with specific instances of realities that engage with the world with an entanglement between feminist ethics, politics, and methodologies.

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