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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R34B2XH25
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|PLACES Platform on Cities Engagement and Space|
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|The Idea of Place: Space and Culture 20th Anniversary Conference|
Text of Daigle's presentation "Our Posthuman Entanglement", The Idea of Place Open Access
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In this paper, I analyse a quite powerful and unexpected personal experience of feeling out of place, despite existential and phenomenological reassurances that this is always my place.
The troubling philosophical problem for existential-phenomenological views is the following: why would an intentional embodied consciousness ever “feel out of place” since it constantly constitutes its place. I can never be “out of place” since my place is made as I go about the world, as I interact with objects and subjects and give them meaning. I propose that experiences of feeling out of place are moments when we become suddenly aware of ourselves as transjective beings, namely as radically entangled trans-subjectively and trans-objectively with other beings. I argue that place is much more than our intentional conscious construct.
Experiences of feeling out of place are due to the sudden awareness of the operations of world- and self-constitution. We always engage in this process but it can be challenged and thereby brought to the surface due to abrupt changes in one’s trans-objective and trans-subjective surroundings and being. To explain this, I appeal to posthuman, feminist materialist notions of material entanglement. Specifically, I will turn to the works of Alaimo, Braidotti, and Colebrook, as well as del Rio’s and Massumi’s Spinozist/Deleuzean views of affect, to explain how we are always caught up in a field of tensions and forces, being done and undone, both by ourselves and by the other beings with which we are entangled, doing and undoing them as well. Conceiving of place merely as an intentional conscious construct ignores the constitutive power of the materiality of place. Conceptualizing that power allows for a less narrow understanding of place and a better account of our relation to place as we constitute ourselves as subjective material beings.
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