Loneliness, Ethnicity, and our Entangled Relationship with the Others (by Dr Maverick Y. Zhang)

The BILD blog continues the 2023-2024 academic year in our new biweekly format with guest blogger Maverick Zhang. Maverick is a writer, researcher, teacher educator, and activist. Over the past decade, they have engaged in a number of sociopolitical activities in Hong Kong SAR and the state of Georgia in the USA. Maverick’s scholarship deals with the complexity of multicultural and multilingual education in connection with issues around race, class, nationality, and sociopolitical struggles. Their research interests include (but are not limited to) discourse studies, teacher education, multicultural-lingual education, embodiment, critical posthumanism, post-qualitative inquiry, and functional linguistics. Maverick is on faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College, NYC.

Maverick’s ResearchGate site and Youtube channel

To deal with, address, or at least talk about loneliness, it is crucial for us to look at the complex, entangled relationship between our everyday social practices and the feeling of being lonely. From a posthuman perspective, I argue that loneliness does not have much to do with physical isolation, either from social relations or from the material world, inasmuch as we only exist in our intra-actions with the human and nonhuman others (e.g., Barad, 2003, 2007; St. Pierre, 2016).

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Cyborg Relations in Shanghai’s Lockdown (by Janan Chan)

Janan Chan 陳臻 returns this week with his third BILD guest blog post; see his other two posts here. Janan is a graduate of Concordia University in Montreal and Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec. He lives and works in Shanghai.

This blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

In her 1985 essay, A Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway posits that all humans are already cyborgs, “theorized and fabricated hybrids of machines and organism”, and that we should embrace a cyborg “ontology” and “politics” (p. 7). Western patriarchal human-centric sciences, politics and capitalism driven by a progress-oriented discourse draw divisions between humans, things, and other living beings to hierarchize, dominate and control. Cyborg ontology and politics, on the other hand, aim to disrupt this anthropocentric dominance by further complicating and transgressing the boundaries between “mind and body, animal and machine, idealism and materialism” (p. 14).

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