What happens when you approach fieldwork as a practice, not of collecting data, but of reworking a particular problem through the contingent encounters that fieldwork affords? This paper explores an incidence in which the problem I start out with - a proposal for vulnerability as a methodological imperative, drawing on Hasana Sharp’s treatment (2011) of Simondon’s theory of individuation - takes on new intensities through the contingencies of a six-month international fieldwork placement. The placement coincided with a period of destabilisation and actualisation in my personal life, as I began a process of social gender transition. Here the feminist injunction to address the politics of individual subjectivisation at work in knowledge-making processes implicates my transition as fundamental to the work I am doing in process-oriented, relational landscape geography. How, though, to account for the effects of such a personal journey - traditionally framed through discourses of gender and identity politics - without being pulled into orbit around the static body of a notional, sovereign subject? I am directed back to my original problem: the possibilities of Simondon’s theory of individuation for thinking that relationship of mutual susceptibility, through which bodies and ideas constitute a political landscape. The challenge of thinking my own experience of gender transition in terms concordant with my broader philosophical project is pertinent precisely because it echoes a similar challenge inherent in my doctoral research, which attempts to think the politics of gender, identity, nationhood and belonging at a landscape level without recourse to representational logics.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 13 Apr 2018|
|Event||Annual Conference of the American Association of Geographers - New Orleans, United States|
Duration: 10 Apr 2018 → 14 Apr 2018
|Conference||Annual Conference of the American Association of Geographers|
|Period||10/04/18 → 14/04/18|