Pandemicity and Subjectivity: the posthumanist vulnerability of the zoe/geo/techno framed subject


  • Christine Daigle Brock University
  • Ilaria Santoemma Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies


Vulnerability; Material Feminism; Posthumanism; Subjectivity; Pandemic.


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented global disruptions, including a fundamental alteration to how humans exist. In this paper, we argue that the disruptions brought forth by the pandemic have provided us with a new perspective that allows us to better understand the various entanglements that are constitutive of the beings we are, but that also render us fundamentally vulnerable. Grounded in a posthumanist material feminist position, we adopt a view of matter as entangled and embrace the notion of agentic capacity while elaborating a definition of posthumanist subjectivity and its peculiar vulnerability. Building our analysis on Rosi Braidotti’s formulation of the zoe/geo/techno assemblage, we further develop this frame navigating through the different entanglements that constitute the posthumanist subjectivity we scrutinize, considering each type from the perspective of the pandemic. As we argue, the increase in one type of entanglement at the expense of others may be generative of new possibilities but can also limit our thriving. What defines us as humans is the fact that we are constituted via the threefold entanglement of zoe, geo, and techno, radically boosting one and diminishing the others—purposefully or not—is bound to have significant impacts. Further, we claim that we cannot in fact isolate one type of entanglement from the others: each impacts the other as they themselves are also entangled.


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