Facing Gaia: Latour

The earth is undergoing a Mutation, not a Crisis; in the midst of a speedy, planetary regime shift (video explainer by Oonsie Biggs). He goes further though to state that “you might expect s to feel that we had shifted from a mere ecological crisis into what should instead be called a profound mutation in our relation to the world.” Except we (we?) do not seem to have done so, or even noticed that we should.

Battistoni on Latour’s recent work and his shift toward politics:
Having lost faith in the long-promised world of prosperity, and recognizing that the planet cannot support all of us, elites have deregulated the economy and dismantled the welfare state while lavishly funding the denial of climate change.”  Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement devastatingly describes the false promise of world-wide fossil-fueled prosperity)

On a Ghosh-related epic story note: I just listened to a great podcast by Marie Mutsuki Mockett (Thirteen to One, New Stories for an Age of Disaster) at Emergence Magazine; it’s about Japan’s lost words for “nature” (only one being left: Shizen), and what (Shinto) animism offers us as a way of connecting, with attention on the giant earth-quaking catfish Ōnamazu…

In Japanese mythology, the Namazu or Ōnamazu is a giant catfish who causes  earthquakes. He lives in the mud … | Japanese mythology, Japanese myth,  Japanese artwork

Marie Mutsuki Mockett Recalls the Myth of the Giant Catfish Ōnamazu ‹  Literary Hub

Bibliography on Feminism / Environment / Labor

Future bibliography:

A politic that is not human-centric?
Facing Gaia, Bruno Latour
1st, 7th, 8th lectures

Readings at intersection of feminism, multispecies, labor, care:

Ecofeminism: an overview, science direct
mary mellor, ariel salleh, giovannah di chiro, vandana shiva,

Alyssa Battistoni:
Material World (on Latour)

Rights and personhood

Systems-centric early ecofeminism

Technoecologies of Borders: Thinking with Borders as Multispecies Matters of Care. Barla, Josef; Hubatschke, Christoph. Australian Feminist Studies , Dec2017, Vol. 32 Issue 94, p395-410
Reading Félix Guattari’s concept of ecology through feminist accounts of care and solidarity, and vice versa, in this article, we propose the concept of feminist technoecology as a speculative mode of thinking with borders. Rather than considering borders as lines on maps or primarily as physical arrangements, we argue that feminist technoecology allows for an understanding of borders as multispecies matters of care where cuts that matter are enacted, and precisely therefore calls for transversal solidarity and care that goes beyond the human. Turning to two stories revolving around the naturalisation of borders, bodies, and territories, we demonstrate that a technoecological take on borders not only fundamentally questions an a-priori distinction between technology, ecology, geology, politics, bodies, and a more-than-human world, but also foregrounds different modes of attentiveness with regard to questions of care, nativity, and mattering.

A Feminist Posthumanist Multispecies Ethnography for Educational Studies. Lloro-Bidart, Teresa. Educational Studies , May/Jun2018, Vol. 54 Issue 3
The “animal” or “more-than-human” turn in the humanities and social sciences has challenged nature/culture binaries in the fields of environmental education and early childhood studies, yet the field of educational studies has yet to confront its humanist roots. In this article, I sketch a nascent conceptual framework that outlines how multispecies ethnography, as a methodology informed by critical strands of feminist posthumanism, can begin to address and redress both social and species injustices in educational studies. To do this, I first provide a brief overview of educational humanism to situate the article within the “animal” and “more-than-human” turns in education. I then define multispecies ethnography and briefly review educational multispecies ethnographic research. Next, I sketch the conceptual framework, which is guided by feminist posthumanist theories of performativity and intersectionality, providing ethnographic examples from my own research projects and the research literature. I conclude by drawing out the implications for educational studies, with a consideration of how animal performativity and intersectionality open up new lines of inquiry to explore animal concerns, as well as social ones.

Traces “we” leave behind : toward the feminist practice of stig(e)merging. Rogowska Stangret, Monika. In: Ecozon@ [Ecozona]: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment. 2020 11:178-186
As Serpil Oppermann has stated “the Anthropocene has come to signify a discourse embedded in the global scale vision of the sedimentary traces of the anthropos” (“The Scale of the Anthropocene” 2). In the following article we wish to revisit the practice of leaving traces through thinking with wastes as traces human beings leave behind and lands of waste that co-compose today’s naturecultures (Haraway, Companion Species). Situating our research in the context of Polish ecocriticism, we would like to think-with an art project by Diana Lelonek entitled Center for the Living Things, in which the artist gathers and exhibits waste that “have become the natural environment for many living organisms” (Lelonek). Following the ambivalent and chaotic traces of wastes, we offer a concept of stig(e)merging to rethink the “unruly edges” (Tsing 141-54) of capitalist wastelands. We fathom stig(e)merging as a feminist methodology that relies on reacting to changes and alterations in the milieu, as well as the actions and needs of others, and on participating in the common work of reshaping the un/wasted world together with them. 

More-than-human emotions: Multispecies emotional labour in the tourism industry. Dashper, Katherine. GENDER WORK AND ORGANIZATION; JAN 2020; 27; 1; p24-p40
The concept of emotional labour has been subject to critique, evaluation, development and extension over the last 35 years, but it remains firmly anthropocentric. This article begins to address this shortcoming by illustrating some of the productive potential of extending the concept of emotional labour to include more‐than‐human and multispecies perspectives. Organizations are not solely human phenomena, but research usually fails to consider the role of non‐humans in work in contemporary capitalism. Using the example of trail horses in tourism, I argue that some non‐human animals should be considered workers, and that they do perform emotional labour in service to commercial organizations. More‐than‐human and multispecies perspectives capture some of the complexities of everyday organizational practices, and can inform feminist research attuned to the experiences of marginalized others, human and non‐human.

Environmental / Social Reproduction Theory

Can we tease out ways in which the environment is a part of (social) reproduction theory: what in the environment provides the conditions for production, and is generally ignored or theoretically suppressed?
– equitable access to what we get “for free” such as clean water and air
– knowledge of complex systems (not ecosystem services, irreducible only to $$ metrics)
– what i’ll call “bounce:” What’s good for the shorebird is good for the human.
– metabolic flows (cf Hanna Landecker in this video interview). We (the multispecies “we”) are interwoven with pollutants; they have metabolic consequences — endocrine disruption for instance – across species.
– what would it mean for workers (multispecies) to be in solidarity?

Criteria for the possibility of a multispecies solidarity
– What is a multispecies politic?
– Can we organize?
– What are we struggling for?
– What is equity? Do we have shared values, or tolerance for differing values?
– How do multiple species participate within this form of solidarity?
– What does multispecies participation look like

Social Reproduction Theory

Summary: This range of readings covered a key precedent text, and contemporary theorizing around the tangle of social reproduction theory and (neo)liberal feminism in capitalist frameworks.


Key to social reproduction theory (SRT) is an understanding of the ‘production of goods and services and the production of life are part of one integrated process’, or in other words: acknowledging that race and gender oppression occur capitalistically. SRF (social reproduction feminism) explores the ways in which the daily and generational renewal of human life (and thus of human labour power) is absolutely essential to the decade-over-decade tenacity not merely of inequality, but of capitalism.

What is SRT? Tithi Bhattacharya Video link

Wages Against Housework, Sylvia Federici, 1974

“Every miscarriage is a work accident.”

It is not enough to view housework as a matter of wages. When you don’t consider housework as part of a systemic political perspective, you “miss its significance in demystifying and subverting the role to which women have traditionally been confined,” and in capitalist society, to simply talk about money for labor is not enough of a shift.

Housework: a given. naturalized. Part of a contract of subjugation. Not optional. My role, as “the wife” or feminized position in a relationship of dominance.

Hidden labor: “By denying housework a wage and transforming it into an act of love,” capital has collapsed many interdependencies into one neat bundle. The masculine position is also trapped as wage-earner, his working body belonging to the “external” (outside, “real-world”) forces of labor, churning out stuff to keep the gears of capital moving.

The “essence of our socialization” is contingent on the wageless condition of homeworkers. Federici argues (rightly IMO) that there’s no comparison between a man (legitimate worker) demanding higher wages, and a woman “(homeworker) demanding wages; the former is still within the systemic order of wage-earning and capital while the latter is “revolutionary” and threatens to upend the necessary conditions (free labor at home) that keep the capitalist system going.

For homeworkers (née homemakers) are a resource to be exploited, positioned to accept that, in order to lube the socioeconomic gears.

It goes beyond the home; it is the space of affective and emotional labor—caring for the emotional states of others, in part by anaging one’s own emotional states. Federici writes that, as in home-work, the jobs women were getting (and still are)—nursing, teaching, housekeeping, secretarial— produce the same “isolation, the fact that other people’s lives depend on us, or the impossibility to see where our work begins and ends, where our work ends and our desires begin.”

I (of course) keep jumping to the positions capital has schematized, in which black and brown and “third world” bodies are less-than white bodies. Slavery, were it still possible, would be a favorable condition along related (not the same) lines as “unliberated” women held in place in the home? And by this logic, how far could we extend our thinking, to consider exploited “resources” that are other species, or even forces in the world?

The struggles of others are OUR struggles.
We want and have to say that we are all housewives, we are all prostitutes and we are all gay, because until we recognize our slavery we cannot recognize our struggle against it, because as long as we think we are something better, something different than a housewife, we accept the logic of the master, which is a logic of division, and for us the logic of slavery.”

Crisis of Care? On the Social-Reproductive Contradictions of Contemporary Capitalism,
Nancy Fraser, 2016

video lecture here
“Crisis of care:” Time poverty, social depletion, work-life balance…
Crisis -tendency or contradiction in every form of capitalism,
the social-reproductive contradictions of financialized capitalism, as every form of capitalism tends to destabilize the very social-reproductive schema that is part of its foundation.
Care deficits: care is foundational (support), and also ignored. It is extra-market, and little of it takes wage labor, but it’s intrinsic to the functioning of economic productivity. Reproductive labor, whose “social importance was/is obscured,” is structurally subordinate, even though it’s a precondition to wage labor.

Summed up as a paradox:

In general, then, capitalist societies separate social reproduction from economic production, associating the first with women and obscuring its importance and value. Paradoxically, however, they make their official economies dependent on the very same processes of social reproduction whose value they disavow. This peculiar relation of separation-cum-dependence- cum-disavowal is a built-in source of potential instability. Capitalist economic production is not self-sustaining, but relies on social reproduction. However, its drive to unlimited accumulation threatens to destabilize the very reproductive processes and capacities that capital— and the rest of us—need.

From Social Reproduction Feminism to the Women’s Strike,
Cinzia Arruzza, 2018

How women’s strikes & marches internationally helped movements around abortion, male violence, wages.
Why USA liberal feminism fails to speak to the larger body of women: it is a “juridical and rights-based definition of feminism” that encompasses reproductive rights and gender discrimination, but leaves out class, race, and environmental inequality, which leave working women in the dust (“Equal pay and the end of gender discrimination in the workplace, for example, are certainly worthy causes, but…they have little tangible effect on the lives of working-class women if decoupled from demands for a minimum wage or for income redistribution.“)

Liberal feminism is corporate feminism.

Trump’s election win signaled “an impasse for liberal feminism” and opened a space for alternative feminist politics: “a class-based, antiracist feminism, inclusive of trans women and queer and nonbinary people

A strike call. For social reproduction and also inclusive of capitalist concepts of labor. As unionization halved in the last 30 years because of neo-liberal anti-union legislation etc.

Note that “Class struggle, however, should not be conflated with labor struggle in the workplacemanifestations of the class as a political actor and an agent of conflict often take place in the sphere of social reproduction, where these struggles have the potential to attack capitalist profitability” i.e mobilizing as Black Lives Matter, around US/Mex border issues, Muslim ban.

Women’s strike provided “visibility to labor organizations where the majority of workers are women, such as the ROC and the New York State Nurses Association, and to instances of local labor organizing and workplace struggles led by women and queer people

interlocutors on a multispecies labor union

Thought we could start a list of people to speak with.

Brian Michael Murphy (Bennington) – yes
Ron Broglio (ASU, animal studies)
Una Chaudhuri (NYU)
Beka Economopoulos (Not an Alternative, Natural History Museum)
Timothy Morton or Dominic Boyer (CENHS, Rice)
Just transition expert
Union organizer (visionary)