Nella Aarne
Of Animacy Reading Group
This reading group thinks through feminist engagements with human and nonhuman agents in the material world, spanning philosophy and natural and human sciences. The readings and discussions meander through a multiplicity of concepts and ways of thinking, developing into a vibrant web of ideas – the shape and character of which will organically unfold over time. The gatherings foster collective unpacking of selected texts and learning through open dialogue in a democratic space, with an aim to recognise and envisage vital alliances for our daily life and political thought.

For further information on the readings and gatherings, please email

8. Flesh, ICA, March 2018
    Alexander G. Weheliye, ‘Bare Life: The Flesh’, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke University Press, 2014)

7. Alterbiopolitics, ICA, February 2018
    María Puig de la Bellacasa, ‘Alterbiopolitics’, Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

6. Touch, ICA, January 2018
    Karen Barad, ‘On Touching — The Inhuman That Therefore I am (v1.1)’, Power of Material / Politics of Materiality, eds. Susanne Witzgall and Kerstin Stakemeier (diaphanes, 2014)

5. Blasted Landscapes, ICA, December 2017
    Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, ‘Blasted Landscapes (and the Gentle Arts of Mushroom Picking)’, The Multispecies Salon, ed. Eben Kirksey (Duke University Press, 2014)

4. Posthuman Feminism, ICA, November 2017
    Rosi Braidotti, ‘Four Theses on Posthuman Feminism’, Anthropocene Feminism, ed. Richard Grusin (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

3. Nonhumans in Political Theory, ICA, October 2017
    Key text: Isabelle Stengers, ‘Including Nonhumans in Political Theory: Opening Pandora’s Box?’, Political Matter: Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life, ed. Bruce Braun (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
    Further reading: Isabelle Stengers, 'Autonomy and the Intrusion of Gaia’, South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 116, no 2, April 2017

2. Feminist New Materialism and Speculative Realism, ICA, September 2017
    Key text: Rebekah Sheldon, ‘Form/Matter/Chora: Object-Oriented Ontology and Feminist New Materialism’, The Nonhuman Turn, ed. Richard Grusin (University of Minnesota Press, 2015)
    Further reading: Deboleena Roy and Banu Subramaniam, ‘Matter in the Shadows: Feminist New Materialism and Practices of Colonialism’, Mattering: Feminism, Science, and Materialism, ed. Victoria Pitts-Taylor (New York University Press, 2016)

1. Toxicity, In Formation, ICA, August 2017
    Mel Y. Chen, ‘Toxic Animacies, Inanimate Affections’ in Queer Inhumanisms, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 21, no. 23, June 2015