This scholarly collective explores the multiple analytical and empirical capacities that chemical philosophy and chemistry practice afford when thought materially and metaphorically. Our scholarly collective seeks to tap chemistry—the science of transformation—and its historically shifting methods as inspiration for thinking the unstable materializations of our world. It asks: what capacities and modalities emerge when we think of the chemical and chemical process as substantively, semiotically, and/or poetically agentive of processes far beyond the molecular? Our scholarly commitment to engage with chemistry is not because we deem it the purveyor of truths or the real. Rather, it is to embark on a speculative experiment: how might imaginative appropriation of chemistry’s transfiguring methods engender innovative ways for thinking turbulent sociomaterial relations? Broadly speaking, the residency would have two aims. First, it will develop ways to conceptualize the material beyond surface or shape, and attend to the cataclysmic and transformative chemistries (both literal and metaphoric) that constitute matters of concern in our worlds. Second, it will consider the affordances that thinking with chemistry extends—an affective and valanced grammar that (rather than denunciatory, deconstructive, or agnostic) suspends a processual ethic, and aesthetic, for navigating a world composed of complex relations.
Collaborators include: Suzana Sawyer (Associate Professor, Anthropology, UC Davis), Andrew Barry (Professor, Geography, University College London), Cristobal Bonelli (Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Amsterdam), Stefanie Graeter (Assistant Professor, Latin American Studies, University of Arizona), Evan Heplers-Smith (Assistant Professor, History, Duke University), Melody Jue (Associate Professor, English, UC Santa Barbara), Dimitris Papadopoulos (Professor, Science, Technology and Society, University of Nottingham), Maria Puig de la Bellacasa’s (Associate Professor, Center for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick), Doug Rogers (Professor, Anthropology, Yale University), Nicholas Shapiro (Assistant Professor, Society and Genetics, UCLA), Jerry Zee (Assistant Professor, Anthropology & High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton), Marisol de la Cadena (Professor, Anthropology, UC Davis) and Cori Hayden (Professor, Anthropology, UC Berkeley).