Jane Bennett, “Out for a Walk in the Middle Voice”


Thursday, October 21, 2021, 6:30pm to 8:00pm


Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

It begins with two strolls: one by the 19th-century naturalist Henry Thoreau, who finds himself inscribed by vegetal forms and powers; and one by Paul Klee's graphic line as it enlists the energies of a human hand to become a doodle. These two walks expose the radical entanglement of human and nonhuman activities, and they call for a lexicon able to acknowledge such a trans-specied kind of agency.

How to bespeak such joint efforts in ways that give the nonhuman its due? What grammar, syntax, and verbal forms best acknowledge the contributions of human, animal, vegetal, mineral, and atmospheric vitalities to one another? How to find a language sensitive to the way human writing is itself enabled and infused with nonhuman inscriptions?

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