Growing boundary objects ....

Working as a transdisciplinary scholar is always tricky. One can take neither authors nor audiences, nor especially citation pools for granted. And no proper question is actually answered by saying you should have read what I have read. In that spirit I share what I am actively learning myself as new attachments form. I assume here that we all have differential and on-going knowledges, that they each take up their own range of details, and that we hope to companion well. Not assuming we all already know each other, I sometimes characterize personal names briefly, just sharing my feel for possible transdisciplinary positionings.

As I prepare to come here to talk, share, gather with you, I seek out some clues for your and my contexts that will shape how we will take what each other says, but there is never enough information or maybe time to know that really. I’m doing a lot of guessing to be somewhat attuned to these, but also have to be willing to just not know, to feel a bit vulnerable. Such knowledge making practices are enfolded with and among demonstrations of my workshop here you might say, because ways of sharing are makings too, while attending in real time to what is happening when it happens is a methodology of companioning with things, all of us bits together in emergent processes.

And I also know that audiences of all kinds today are in the middle of actively diverging: in practices as well as being unpredictable in their circulations and ranges. These now are also complex systems, sometimes technically “chaotic” ones. Indeed, “author-ness” and its responsibilities to authorship and authority are dispersed, distributed, mixing up many collectives, many knowledge worlds, playing among and as boundary objects whether they know it or not. Audience is always something yet to be performed: What can be taken for granted? What would best be explained? Which contexts need to be fleshed out? How many worlds do we all gather here simultaneously? What do we assume are the most urgent issues and things to care about and with? Who and what facilitates movement among worlds? (Anzaldúa 2002)

These are some of the complex systems I care about. Attempts at systems justice.

• Being inside and moved around literally by the very material and conceptual structures you are analyzing and writing about is a kind of self-consciousness only partially available for explicit, or direct discussion.

• Under global academic restructuring we are obliged to network among all these lively agencies, as we look to see things as they exist for others, in different degrees of resolution, of grain of detail.

  • Anzaldúa, G.1987. Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Spinsters/Aunt Lute.
  • Anzaldúa, G. 2002. “(Un)natural bridges.” In eds. Anzaldúa, G. & Keating, A. this bridge we call home, pp. 1-5. Routledge.  
  • Bateson, G. 1972 [1954]. A Theory of Play and Fantasy. In Steps to an ecology of mind: collected essays in anthropology, psychiatry, evolution, and epistemology (pp. 177-194). Chandler.
  • Bateson, N. 2016. Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing Through Other Patterns. Triarchy. 
  • Bennett, J. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A political ecology of things. Duke.
  • Bleecker, J. 2006 [1993]. Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for Networked Objects — Cohabiting with Pigeons, Arphids and Aibos in the Internet of Things. The NearFuture Laboratory.
  • Bleecker, J. 2009. Design Fiction: A Short Essay on Design, Science, Fact and Fiction.
  • Bowker, G.C. & Star, S.L. 1999. Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. MIT.
  • Bowker, G. et al. (Eds.) 2016. Boundary Objects and Beyond: Working with Leigh Star. MIT.
  • Collins & Bilge. 2016. Intersectionality. Polity. 
  • Dolphijn, R. & Van der Tuin, I. 2012. New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies [in English]. Open Humanities Press, University of Michigan Library.
  • Gilbert, S.F., Sapp, J. & Tauber, A.I. 2012. "A Symbiotic View of Life: We Have Never Been Individuals." The Quarterly Review of Biology 87/4 (December): 325-41.
  • Górska, M. 2016. Breathing Matters. Linköping. 
  • Grebowicz, M. 2005. Consensus, Dissensus, and Democracy: What Is at Stake in Feminist Science Studies? Philosophy of Science 72/2 (December): 989-1000.  
  • Grebowicz, M. & Merrick, H. 2013. Beyond the Cyborg. Columbia.
  • Haran, J. & King, K. 2013. Science Fiction Feminisms, Feminist Science Fictions & Feminist Sustainability. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology 2.  
  • Haraway, D. 2011. Sf: Speculative Fabulation and String Figures. (Book 99). Hatje Cantz.
  • Haraway, D. 2016. Manifestly Haraway. Minnesotta.
  • Haraway, D. 2016. Staying with the Trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene. Duke.
  • Imarisha, W. & Brown, A.M. (Eds). 2015. Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. AK Press.
  • Juhasz, A. and Balsamo, A. 2012. An Idea Whose Time is Here: FemTechNet — A Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC). Ada, a journal of Gender, New Media & Technology, No.1. 
  • Kimmerer, R.W. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants. Milkweed.
  • King, K. 1994. Feminism and Writing Technologies: Teaching Queerish Travels through Maps, Territories, and Pattern. Configurations 2 (Winter 1994): 89-106. 
  • King, K. 2012. Among transcontextual feminisms we grow boundary objects. For An Ecology of Ideas, a joint conference of the American Society for Cybernetics and the Bateson Idea Group, Asilomar, California, 11 July; at:    
  • King, K. 2015. My Distributed TRANimalitieS. Transgender Studies Quarterly 2/2: 280-296.
  • King. 2016. Microaggressions as Boundary Objects. Australian Feminist Studies 31/89: 276-282.  
  • Kirby, D. 2010. The Future is Now: Diegetic Prototypes and the Role of Popular Films in Generating Real-world Technological Development. Social Studies of Science 40(1): 41-70.
  • Kirksey, E. 2015. Emergent Ecologies. Duke.
  • Klein, J.T. 2004. Prospects for transdisciplinarity. Futures, 36(4): 515-526.
  • Law, J., Afdal, G., Asdal, K., Lin, W.-y., Moser, I., & Singleton, V. 2013. Modes of Syncretism: Notes on Noncoherence. Common Knowledge, 20(1), 172-192.  
  • Lothian, A. 2016. Choose not to warn. Feminist Studies 42/3: 1-14. 
  • Moi, A. 2002. The Body Multiple: Ontology in medical practice. Duke.
  • Morton, T. 2013. Hyperobjects. Minnesota. 
  • Myers, N. 2014. Sensing Botanical Sensoria: A Kriya for Cultivating Your Inner Plant. Online at Centre for Imaginative Ethnography:   
  • Nadir, L. & Peppermint, C. Ecoarttech: we make art in the biological, cultural, digital wilderness. Online.   
  • Pierce, C. 1970. 'Offensive Mechanisms.' In The Black Seventies. Barbour, F.B. (Ed.) Porter Sargent, pp. 265–82. 
  • Povinelli, E. A. 2011. Economies of abandonment: social belonging and endurance in late liberalism. Duke.
  • Price, M. 2013. Desiring Pain, Desiring Distress: Meditations on Disabled Bodymind. Symposium on Debilitating Queerness, sponsored by DC Queer Studies. University of Maryland. College Park, MD. April 5. 
  • Star, S.L. 1999. The Ethnography of Infrastructure. American Behavioral Scientist (Nov/Dec) 43/3: 377-392.
  • Star, S.L. 2010. This is Not a Boundary Object. Science, Technology & Human Values, 35/5: 601-617.
  • Star, S.L., ed. 1995. Ecologies of Knowledge: Work and politics in science and technology. SUNY.
  • Sue, D., Capodilupo, C.M., Torino, G.C., Bucceri, J.M., Holder, A.M.B., Nadal, K.L,. & Esquilin, M.. 2007. Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist 62/4: 271-286. 
  • Sue, D.. 2010. Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation. Wiley.
  • Tiokhin, L. 2016. Do Symptoms of illness serve signaling function? (Hint: Yes) The Quarterly Review of Biology (June) 91/2: 177-195.
  • Van der Tuin, I. 2015. Generational Feminism: New Materialist Introduction to a Generative Approach. Lexington.
  • Wilson, E.A. 2015. Gut Feminism. Duke.
some image credits:

• Octavia's Brood actions clipped from google search.
• Definitions clipped from google search.
• Sue team:
• Lothian:
• Imarisha:
• Imarisha news:,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=131&cntnt01returnid=78  

Katie makes her drawings using the app Paper by 53: