A trailblazing exploration of the political stakes of curiosity. Perry Zurn explores the political philosophy of curiosity—the heartbeat of political resistance and a critical factor in social justice. Drawing on philosophy and political theory as well as feminist theory, race theory, disability studies, and trans studies, he tracks curiosity in the structures of political marginalization and resistance.
In this essay, I sketch a preliminary account of philosophical curiosity. Drawing on philosophy of curiosity, philosophy of education, and philosophical pedagogy, I argue first that philosophical curiosity is a set of investigative practices and affects that engage philosophical content and philosophical skills. Turning to critical pedagogy and meta-philosophy, especially via Paulo Freire and Kristie Dotson, I then supplement the preliminary account by arguing that philosophical curiosity is also rooted in existential exploration and communal inquiry. I argue for the necessity (...) of this supplement by showing that, in failing to account for what and who philosophical curiosity is for, we risk excluding diverse practitioners and phenomena from the philosophical enterprise. I then evaluate two pedagogical exercises in philosophical curiosity—the Freedom Schools’ citizenship curriculum and Melissa Shew’s Curiosity Project—in light of this account. I close by considering some objections and implications. (shrink)
After reviewing the use of isolation in US prisons and public restrooms to confine transgender people in solitary cells and single‐occupancy bathrooms, I propose an explanatory theory of eliminative space. I argue that prisons and toilets are eliminative spaces: that is, spaces of waste management that use layers of isolation to sanctify social or individual waste, at the outer and inner limits of society. As such, they function according to an eliminative logic. Eliminative logic, as I develop it, involves three (...) distinct but interrelated mechanisms: 1) purification of the social center, through 2) iterative segregation, presuming and enforcing 3) the reduced relationality of marginal persons. By evaluating the historical development and contemporary function of prisons and restrooms, I demonstrate that both seek to protect the gender binary through waves of segregation by sex, race, disability, and gender identity. I further argue that both assume the thin relationality of, in this case, transgender people, who are conceived of as impervious to the effects of isolation and thus always already isolable. I conclude that, if we are to counter the violence of these isolation practices, we not only need to think holistically about eliminative spaces and logic, but also to richly reconceptualize relationality. (shrink)
What is feminist curiosity? Or better yet, how is feminist curiosity practiced, where is it practiced, and with whom is it practiced? In this essay, I develop a philosophical account of feminist curiosity by drawing on direct contributions from the feminist philosophical tradition, but also by interweaving scattered testaments to feminist curiosity from critical race theory, intersex studies, disability studies, and trans studies. What surfaces in this inquiry is an account of feminist curiosity that goes far beyond the act of (...) asking feminist questions. Feminist curiosity proper, I suggest, reconfigures not simply what gets asked, but with whom, where, and how inquiry happens. Feminist curiosity is rooted in companionship (with self and others), reorients time (a visionary future, but also a material past and present), and resists oppressive forms of inquiry such as spectacularization and the presumptions of access. As such, feminist curiosity is committed not only to a relational world but to a relational investigation of that world. (shrink)
Prisons are a feminist issue. This chapter offers an account of central issues and themes in feminist philosophical work on prisons, examples of important contributions, and future directions for feminist work in the field. It does so, however, in a way that consciously deploys a feminist methodology that resists the replication of hierarchical norms and structural violence in the very doing of theory and history. In this spirit, it emphasizes the record of struggle across the prison’s history, the resistance efforts (...) that live behind individual academic theories, the conceptual frameworks generated by groups bearing the brunt of carcerality, and it investigates alternative strategies of harm reduction developed across those communities. The chapter closes with an explicit exploration of prison abolitionism, which works not only to radically rethink punishment but also to shift the locus of voice and leadership. In so doing, the chapter aims to review, as much as to create anew, a feminist theoretical analysis of prisons. (shrink)
From science and technology to business and education, curiosity is often taken for granted as an unquestioned good. And yet, few people can define curiosity. Curiosity Studies marshals scholars from more than a dozen fields not only to define curiosity but also to grapple with its ethics as well as its role in technological advancement and global citizenship. While intriguing research on curiosity has occurred in numerous disciplines for decades, no rigorously cross-disciplinary study has existed—until now. -/- Curiosity Studies stages (...) an interdisciplinary conversation about what curiosity is and what resources it holds for human and ecological flourishing. These engaging essays are integrated into four clusters: scientific inquiry, educational practice, social relations, and transformative power. By exploring curiosity through the practice of scientific inquiry, the contours of human learning, the stakes of social difference, and the potential of radical imagination, these clusters focus and reinvigorate the study of this universal but slippery phenomenon: the desire to know. -/- Against the assumption that curiosity is neutral, this volume insists that curiosity has a history and a political import and requires precision to define and operationalize. As various fields deepen its analysis, a new ecosystem for knowledge production can flourish, driven by real-world problems and a commitment to solve them in collaboration. By paying particular attention to pedagogy throughout, Curiosity Studies equips us to live critically and creatively in what might be called our new Age of Curiosity. (shrink)
Whether in journalism or medicine, education, law, or television, trans writers and trans studies scholars consistently develop this critique of the representational totalization of trans people, whereby they are and have been made whats, not whos; objects, not subjects; voiceless, not vocal; passive, not active; dehistoricized, not historical; and single, not multiple. In what follows, I aim to supplement this critique by attending to the role of curiosity both as a technique of (trans) objectification and as a practice of (trans) (...) freedom, on both the individual and social level. That is, I trace how curiosity—through the monadic and collective acts of gazing, inquiring, investigating, and imagining—functions as part of the project of the representational totalization of trans people but also as part of trans people’s own praxis of resistant de-totalization. (shrink)
Formed in the wake of May 1968, the Prisons Information Group (GIP) was a radical resistance movement active in France in the early 1970's. Theorist Michel Foucault was heavily involved. This book collects interdisciplinary essays that explore the GIP's resources both for Foucault studies and for prison activism today.
In what follows, we intervene in the long history of the study of curiosity to propose curiosity studies proper. Such a field, we argue, traverses the many disciplinary and experiential contexts in which curiosity appears, in order to generate theories, analytics, and practices of curiosity that are as complex and ubiquitous as the phenomenon of curiosity itself. Assuming an ecology of knowledge framework, which expressly resists academic silos and intellectual monocultures, we envision curiosity studies as an unbounded inquiry built on (...) three simple principles: (1) Curiosity is multiple; its markers shift across history, geography, species, social identities, institutions, contexts, and circumstances; therefore it requires immensely flexible analytic attention; (2) Curiosity is praxiological; far from something that is simply felt, curiosity is something that is done, expressed in behaviors, habits, architectures, and movements across physical, conceptual, and social space; and (3) Curiosity is political; its manifestations within sociocultural worlds are marked by inherited hierarchies of value among scientific methodologies, people groups, and ideologies. And yet, precisely because it is multiple, praxiological, and political, curiosity bears a keen subversive potential. It has the capacity to upend what we know, how we learn, how we relate, and what we can change. Curiosity has the capacity to become radical, to get at the root of things. We therefore propose curiosity studies not only as a field of scholarship but as a way of reimagining the world, both within the classroom and far beyond it. (shrink)
Throughout history, many scholars have offered up definitions of curiosity. These definitions range far and wide. Some attempt to amass all the elements of curiosity, systematize them, and propose a unified theory. Some characterize curiosity as a conceptual unit with two primary dimensions (e.g. epistemic and perceptual), as two distinct kinds of things (e.g. bona et mala curiositas), or as one side of a binary (e.g. curiosity vs. care). What is curiosity? Which characterization is most apt to curiosity itself and (...) which best illuminates its ethical and political stakes? In this essay, I argue that curiosity is best characterized modally. That is, it is best described through its modes rather than defined by its essence. To support this argument, I canvas the history of philosophy and identify three models of curiosity, which I name by their correlative literary figures: the busybody, the hunter, and the dancer. The curious person is repeatedly described as drawn to gossip, hunting down secrets and discoveries, and taking leaps of creative imagination. I develop an account of the unique kinesthetic signatures of each mode. I then close with ethical considerations, interrogating issues of responsibility relevant to each. In doing so, this chapter reimagines both curiosity itself and its role in our political ecology today. (shrink)
In this essay, the resistant potential of curiosity will be first framed by theories of political curiosity writ large (drawn from Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida) and then explicated through three case studies: the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, prison resistance networks in the 1970’s, and a more recent initiative for accessible restrooms. From these archives, an anatomy of politically resistant curiosity will be drawn.
Against the backdrop of a longstanding feminist critique that Michel Foucault’s call to anonymity is insensitive to the erasure of marginalized persons, I aim to contribute to a critical account of anonymity as a feminist Foucauldian ideal. I do this in two ways. First, I analyze the tactical role of anonymity in the Prisons Information Group, an organization in which Foucault was involved. Second, I analyze the unique paradoxes of anonymity faced by gender non-conforming prisoners then and now. I conclude (...) that anonymity is ideally a situational and multi-layered tactic. By developing a modality of anonymity accountable to the differential politics involved in the chosen or forced renunciation of a name, I contribute to a critical evaluation of anonymity as a practice of resistance from within and beyond the prison system. (shrink)
Beginning with Jacques Derrida’s Beast and the Sovereign, I identify two forms of curiosity: 1) scientific curiosity, which proceeds through objective dissection and 2) therapeutic curiosity, which proceeds through observational confinement. Through an analysis of Derrida’s treatment of both sorts of curiosity, I notice and develop a third, deconstructive form of curiosity. Through repeated turn to the work of Sarah Kofman, I characterize this third curiosity as, by turns, linguistic, animal, and critical. As linguistic, this curiosity is a penchant for (...) wordplay and a keenness for the unsteady reservoirs of signification, resisting any clean dissection of meaning or the confinement of terms. As animal, it tracks a scent, regularly suspending its paw, as if to emphasize the meandering and precarious quality of knowledge. And as critical, it combats the illusions of pure revelation and instead draws attention to the conjuring trick, the systematic substitution of signs, undergirding it. Finally, I consider in what way Derrida’s resistance to philosophy may be read on the grounds not of a singular wonder but of multiple curiosities. (shrink)
This chapter develops criteria of work and failure implicit within the Prisons Information Group (GIP). Reading the group’s documents in conjunction with the thought of Michel Foucault, the chapter asks: How did the GIP characterize work or attribute failure and how did Foucault understand both in this period? By analyzing these discursive practices together, the essay first identifies five criteria of failure: discursive, structural, systemic, deconstructive, and productive failure. Second, it tests the GIP against each criterion, marking where it does (...) and does not fail. The chapter therefore offers an internal assessment of the GIP, one that is sensitive to the movement’s own discourse and development. In closing, the chapter draws several implications from this analysis of failure for contemporary prison activism and analysis. (shrink)
Quite shortly after the Prisons Information Group (GIP) was formed, Michel Foucault delivered a public announcement in which he called for a generalized practice of “active intolerance” against a wide range of disciplinary institutions. Due to three consistent scholarly reductions of the GIP’s legacy, the sense of “active intolerance” remains nebulous at best. Cast, by turns, as merely the offshoot of Foucauldian theory, a point of prison data collection, or a short-lived social movement (forgetting its lengthy successor: the Prisoners Action (...) Committee), the GIP has been regularly interpreted as a relatively circumscribed intellectual enterprise. Against these three reductions, we develop an account of the GIP as an inherently collaborative abolitionist effort that was trained on subjugated knowledges. And this, in fact, is the work of active intolerance. (shrink)
The word “intolerance” bears almost exclusively negative connotations. It is treated invariably, almost ideologically as a vice. What would it mean to reconceive of intolerance as a virtue—or, at the very least, a positive affect? In this essay, I analyze two complementary archives of positive intolerance: the records of the Prisons Information Group (the GIP) and the writings of one of its members: Michel Foucault. For the GIP, intolerance—as a militant refusal of intolerable material and political conditions—is essential to the (...) prison activist effort. Relatedly, for Foucault, scholarship—as the creative and/or critical act of naming and changing public awareness of intolerable conditions—can be a mode of political intolerance against an oppressive state. When paired together, these two archives trouble the easy severance of theory and practice, suggesting both that prison resistance efforts involve intellectual assessments of the intolerable and that engaged scholarship often doubles as intolerant activism. Both archives, moreover, agree that such intolerant activism is always rooted in personal investments and local struggles. This analysis allows me to suggest that, if the struggle against forces of marginalization and exploitation mobilizes resistant intolerance as a political and intellectual strategy, then intolerance may very well be commendable. It might, in fact, be virtuous. (shrink)
Trans philosophy—like everything else—has a history. The 1990s was a pivotal decade for the academic development of trans philosophy in the United States and Canada. During this period, the broader interdisciplinary field of transgender studies was beginning to emerge, and professional philosophy’s own contributions to transgender studies were starting to take shape as well. In what follows, we hear from Talia Mae Bettcher, Loren Cannon, Miqqi Alicia Gilbert, and Jacob Hale, four trans philosophers whose writings and activism helped provide the (...) contours of what is now becoming a robust and thriving area of study within academic philosophy. (shrink)
What forms, then, does curiosity take? And what are the curiosity formations of our time? Of our universities? Of our disciplines? Of our material lives beyond the discursive? Where one asks these questions—and who it is that asks—matters. Drawing on Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, and Michel Foucault, I chart out the grammar of curiosity formations in and beyond the university.
There is a kind of living that feels like dying. There is a kind of life marked—relentlessly—by death. The term social death refers to this experience, this rhythm, this walled passage. By definition, social death may belong to whoever—or indeed whatever—lives and dies in a network of relation. Even when conceived of only anthropocentrically, then, the term must apply beyond that, because the human being lives and dies in nonhuman relation. Moreover, social death always occurs out of sync with physical (...) death. As such, its temporality is unique. Social death is already and not yet, long begun and never finished, and one is never quite sure when it will strike; it is out of time. Given the way in which it eddies across existences and temporalities, social death is a chimerical, though no less powerful term. (shrink)
In this essay, I sketch the contours of a critical phenomenology of walking. I begin by briefly characterizing the critical phenomenological project and marking some of its invitations to think method and movement alongside one another. Then, I explore two modes of doing a critical phenomenology of walking: attending to how one walks and when and where one walks. I revisit and reread, in particular, the stories of Charlie Howard and Latisha King, whose walks not only signaled a unique comportment (...) in the world, but a comportment so offensive as to be extinguished by a fatal admixture of homophobia, transphobia, and racism. Finally, I close by considering the conditions under which a critical phenomenology of walking can be ameliorative—that is, how it can participate in liberatory projects of thinking and making. Drawing on Michel de Certeau and María Lugones, I argue not only that a critical phenomenology of walking can diagnose how structures of oppression constrain walking chances in the world, but also can witness how walking critiques those very structures. Walking is a movement of resistance and reimagination against the constraints of embodiment and subjectivity so singularly inherited and enforced. Traversing the space of this inquiry, I aim to complexify my understanding of walking as a practice, but also to deepen my appreciation of critical phenomenology as a method. (shrink)
What is abolition? What is the logic of its movement, the character of its kinesthetic signature? By exploring abolition’s debts to Foucauldian genealogy, the messianism in Derridean deconstruction, and the affective resistance among queer/trans communities, this essay argues that abolition is a kite-idea. It moves by flying overhead, shimmering in the sun, and tugging at the hand. Abolition is a practice of history, a dream of the future, and an affective struggle lived today. This is its fragile promise.
As an outgrowth of experiential and critical pedagogies, and in response to growing rates of student anxiety and depression, educators in recent years have made increasing efforts to facilitate curiosity and mindfulness in the classroom. In Section I, we describe the rationale and function of these initiatives, focusing on the Right Question Institute and mindfulness curricula. Although we admire much about these programs, here we explore ways to complicate and deepen them through a more socially grounded and ethically informed theoretical (...) framework. In Section II, we provide that framework by sketching a sociopolitical account of curiosity and of mindfulness. We propose a curiosity mindful of social location and a mindfulness curious about political structures and historical contexts. In Section III, we then offer concrete suggestions for modifying the curricula of the Right Question Institute and various mindfulness programs. We show how a more nuanced understanding of curiosity and mindfulness strengthens these program offerings. Ultimately, facilitating mindful curiosity and curious mindfulness, we argue, helps educators a) provide more robust learning environments, b) address growing mental health challenges, and c) support global citizenship in the classroom and beyond. (shrink)
Trans Philosophy: Meaning and Mattering will be the first authoritative collection to establish trans philosophy as a unique field of inquiry. It defines trans philosophy as philosophical work that is accountable to and illuminative of transgender experiences, histories, cultural production, and politics. The book will showcase work from a range of fresh and established voices in this nascent field. It will address a variety of topics (e.g. embodiment, identity, language, law, politics, transphobia), utilize diverse philosophical methods (e.g. analytic, continental, and (...) pluralist; theoretical, experimental, and applied), and attend to significant intersections between trans identity and class, disability, race, and sexuality. Across language and politics, feminism and phenomenology, decolonial theory and disability studies, trans philosophy concerns itself with trans worldmaking in all its excruciating beauty and mundanity. (shrink)
Curious about something? Google it. Look at it. Ask a question. But is curiosity simply information seeking? According to this exhilarating, genre-bending book, what’s left out of the conventional understanding of curiosity are the wandering tracks, the weaving concepts, the knitting of ideas, and the thatching of knowledge systems—the networks, the relations between ideas and between people. Curiosity, say Perry Zurn and Dani Bassett, is a practice of connection: it connects ideas into networks of knowledge, and it connects knowers themselves, (...) both to the knowledge they seek and to each other. -/- Zurn and Bassett—identical twins who write that their book “represents the thought of one mind and two bodies”—harness their respective expertise in the humanities and the sciences to get irrepressibly curious about curiosity. Traipsing across literatures of antiquity and medieval science, Victorian poetry and nature essays, as well as work by writers from a variety of marginalized communities, they trace a multitudinous curiosity. They identify three styles of curiosity—the busybody, who collects stories, creating loose knowledge network; the hunter, who hunts down secrets or discoveries, creating tight networks; and the dancer, who takes leaps of creative imagination, creating loopy ones. Investigating what happens in a curious brain, they offer an accessible account of the network neuroscience of curiosity. And they sketch out a new kind of curiosity-centric and inclusive education that embraces everyone’s curiosity. The book performs the very curiosity that it describes, inviting readers to participate—to be curious with the book and not simply about it. (shrink)
A groundbreaking collection of writings by Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group documenting their efforts to expose France’s inhumane treatment of prisoners. Founded by Michel Foucault and others in 1970–71, the Prisons Information Group (GIP) circulated information about the inhumane conditions within the French prison system. Intolerable makes available for the first time in English a fully annotated compilation of materials produced by the GIP during its brief but influential existence, including an exclusive new interview with GIP member Hélène (...) Cixous and writings by Gilles Deleuze and Jean Genet. (shrink)
In this essay, we offer a preliminary account of why and how to consciously cultivate curiosity in contemporary learning environments. First, we begin by discussing some of the educational theory upon which curiosity-centric classrooms might be built: experiential learning pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, critical pedagogy, and abolitionist pedagogy. Second, recognizing that our social, cultural, political, and economic processes all shape who can be curious, about what, and when, we then formulate what we call a critically curious pedagogy. Critically curious pedagogy aims (...) to stay accountable to the complex sociopolitical processes in and against which curiosity is either cultivated or suppressed. Such pedagogy relies on the affective practices of reflexivity, mindfulness, empathy, uncertainty, and transformative questioning. Third, we identify several key elements of curiosity-based assignments by which teacher–learners from all disciplinary backgrounds—whether they be mathematicians, engineers, anthropologists, psychologists, or philosophers—can facilitate the growth of critical curiosity in their students. These elements include student leadership, a research mindset, collaborative environments, multimodal outputs, real-life applications, and community engagement. Finally, we reflect on future directions in the theory and praxis of curiosity-centric learning environments. It is our hope that this chapter provides a framework for members of teacher–learner communities of all sorts to become aware of and cultivate their own curiosity with one another. (shrink)
There is something prophetic about abolition; some element of the elsewhere that marks its practice, and its discourse. In the work of undoing, there is a crack. In the refusal, a moment of imagination. Abolition is driven by definitive demands as much as by what is yet to come and what is still unfinished.
Timothy Morton insists that ecology requires intimacy between ecosystems and organisms, living and non-living beings. Paradoxically, Morton suggests that intimacy incurs a sense of strangeness between things. In a similar vein, Michel Foucault, as a predecessor of queer theory, commends human intimacy as an act of resistance against institutionalized sexuality. Such intimacy, Foucault suggests, enhances our sense of strangeness to ourselves. In this essay, I not only grant that queer theory and ecology share an emphasis on intimacy but I argue (...) this intimacy must be defined as the transmutation of distance, a drawing close that simultaneously estranges. Through Gaston Bachelard, I link this account to a poetics of intimate space. (shrink)
Bathroom.Perry Zurn - 2021 - In Keywords in Gender and Sexuality Studies. New York: New York University Press. pp. 23-.details
There is no denying that the bathroom is a political space. But that is what makes it a space of possibility. As a social-material fixture we use every day, the bathroom has the potential to illuminate, and ultimately to challenge, some of our deepest values and deepest needs. Appreciating the weave of experiences and institutions that have, across time, made the modern bathroom what it is opens up important questions about what it might be. Leaning into the legacy of refusal, (...) we can demand a radical break with logics that have so long masked insidious social hierarchies with calls to order and purity. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that a) Cartesian wonder is properly interpreted through Irigaray’s theory of phallic economy and that b) when Cartesian wonder is explicitly reinterpreted through Irigaray’s ethics of sexual difference, it must be considered in the mode of écriture. To support these two contentions, this paper unfolds in five parts. I begin by giving an account of Cartesian wonder and an account of Irigaray’s theory of phallic economy and the ethics of sexual difference. After showing how Cartesian (...) wonder is best read as part of the phallic economy, I turn to develop Cartesian wonder and Irigarayan wonder differently, in the mode of écriture [writing]. In order to do so, I first establish that Cartesian wonder, by virtue of its status as a precondition of rational discourse, is aroused through written things, and then I explore how Irigarayan wonder might best be considered between written entities, between two books as bodies. I thus read Descartes out from Irigaray, then back into and through Irigaray. (shrink)
It's too easy to say of Mai '68 that the police are incurious while protesters are curious, that administrators are incurious and students are curious. A more honest assessment of these moments, striated as they are with social tensions, would identify at least two modes of inquiry and two sets of questions vying for dominance: the one located on the side of the status quo, the other on the side of change. In what follows, I provide historico-theoretical resources to justify (...) that assessment. I first review Michel Foucault and Jacques Ranciere's theories of the police, identifying the incipient role of curiosity in their accounts both of resistance and of power and the police. I then turn to the Prisons Information Group (GIP), where I trace the clear clash between state curiosity as implemented by police and resistant curiosity as practiced by GIP activists. Finally, in light of this clash, I explore implications for interpreting Mai '68 and Black Lives Matter as instances of curiosities at war. (shrink)
Given its subject matter, biological psychiatry is uniquely poised to lead STEM DEI initiatives related to disability. Drawing on literatures in science, philosophy, psychiatry, and disability studies, we outline how that leadership might be undertaken. We first review existing opportunities for the advancement of DEI in biological psychiatry around axes of gender and race. We then explore the expansion of biological psychiatry’s DEI efforts to disability, especially along the lines of representation and access, community accountability, first person testimony, and revised (...) theoretical frameworks for pathology. We close with concrete recommendations for scholarship and practice going forward. By tackling head-on the challenge of disability inclusion, biological psychiatry has the opportunity to be a force of transformation in the biological sciences and beyond. (shrink)
This essay argues that publicity is a necessary precondition for both politics and philosophy. Against the backdrop of the traditional dismissal of publicity as a leveling of difference, the author develops Foucault’s positive use of publicity in the Prisons Information Group as a technique of differentiation. The essay therefore proceeds in four parts: 1) it contextualizes the Prisons Information Group within Foucault’s life and work, 2) it identifies four specific modes of publicity utilized by the group, 3) it argues that, (...) through these modes, Foucault embraces classically troublesome elements of publicity (like noise, superficiality, and anonymity) as expressly transformative, and 4) it develops a consequently positive account of Foucauldian leveling. The essay concludes that publicity involves the collective transmigration of thought, word, and deed requisite to both the political and philosophical life. (shrink)
This interview with Hélène Cixous took place in her apartment in Paris on March 14, 2019. The interview was conducted in English and subsequently revised for publication. The discussion focuses on Cixous' involvement in the Prisons Information Group in the early 1970's, but it extends to her writing life and activism both before and since.
In this Introduction, we offer, in the first section, a brief sketch of events before turning to track the profound innovations in militancy and theory that Le Group d'information sur les prisons (The Prisons Information Group, the GIP) and its work represent. In the second section, we explore the GIP’s prisoner-centered and largely prisoner-led structure, predicated on the recognition that prisoners have the political knowledge and political agency most relevant to prison resistance movements. In the third section, we trace the (...) GIP’s concomitant reconceptualization of the prison and the intellectual, both of which it embeds in a shared social field of which the former is symptomatic and to which the latter is beholden. In the fourth section, we develop the GIP’s anti-carceral, even abolitionist, legacies implicit within these innovations of militancy and theory, as well as across its archive more generally. Finally, in the fifth section, we close by sketching the GIP archive’s critical reception to date and then carve out new frontiers of interpretive debate in light of contemporary incarceration practices and developments in anti-carceral theory. (shrink)
It is hardly difficult to imagine writing about critical phenomenology and walking. One might pause over the method of critical phenomenology as a meta-odos, a thinking of the path. Or consider the steps critical phenomenology takes and the unique pitch of its gait as it traverses the borderlands between phenomenology and critical theory. One might query how these two have the capacity to walk so well side by side, so much so that they can become as one, barely distinguishable against (...) an open sky. Such an inquiry would no doubt track how it is that phenomenology walks toward things, through things, into things, suspending the eye of the natural attitude and proceeding ever so carefully and yet bluntly in search of what springs toward it. But such an inquiry would also track how that very process is a scripted processual, notwithstanding all the suspensions upon which it steps. Who and what writes and rewrites the script of what appears, when, and how? What inscriptions define appearances in advance and diaeretically cut them clean from one another? And what are the unscripted forces still at work? Ferreting out the work of scripts and inscriptions, such an inquiry would pause over the hidden structures that constrict what might feel like a free flight of the mind, a bit of unfettered rambling in the fields of consciousness. Thinking critical phenomenology as walking, then, means tracking the two moving in tandem. Phenomenology pulls toward the horizon of experience, while critical theory veers toward structural analyses. Together, they tread a uniquely illuminating path. (shrink)