"As you heard I can sing along with what is around me
It is only when I type something in your language
That you refer to me as having communication.


And since their definition of thought defines their definition of personhood so
ridiculously much they doubt that I am a real person as well."

- "In My Language" by Amanda 'Mel' Baggs 1

"What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open."

– "Kathe Kollwitz" by Muriel Rukeseyer 2

This is both art and scholarship, a conversation that is a dance. This is a listening with no end, a friendship with no beginning. The content and the form reflect each other, perfection being a balance of qualities rather than the absence of flaws. 3 You might demand that we explain things to you more clearly. We might gently say, feel and dream deeper.

To facilitate relations based on consent, we invoke:

  • For each bodymind 4 to reclaim 5 the right 6 to opacity 7
  • In each case, 'bodymind' is meant in the most expansive sense: from bodymind of a gesture, to bodymind of a tree, to bodymind of a breath, a person, a community, and beyond
  • That each bodymind holds desire
  • That each bodymind holds capacity for communication, not defined by any one bodymind's language nor ability
  • That each bodymind is irreducible to another
  • That each bodymind holds an equal and universal right to breathe 8
  • That each bodymind is in relation with every other bodymind in a multiverse of interdependence
  • That the boundary 9 of each bodymind is porous and particular, shaped by relations to place, history, ancestors, imagination, dream, and spirit
  • That such a conception of bodymind will give rise to a conception of personhood that forms new ethical, medical and political frameworks.

This is not easy conversation. Embracing depth across histories and distances, each description carries a world. We—Marina and Charlee (crip artists, poets, scholars, activists)—have been listening to each other since we met, and this text grows from our exchange. There are times the work feels quarrelsome, times it seems impossible to articulate, times our listening bodyminds ache, times when playfulness erupts and disrupts assumptions. We laugh at the farce of objectivity, while weaving the waters between us and enacting consent.

We invite you to our engagement.

charlee: The way i was taught is that you pray, before you do anything. That you pray, while you are doing [anything] and that you pray when you are done doing that thing. I was taught that you pray to do no harm. Doctors take a very similar oath. This paper is perhaps then a learning about what 'harm' can mean, how easy it is—just by not listening—to do harm.

marina: I was raised a militant atheist, and so i whisper a request. To you, who may not have been raised in a culture nor language of prayer. To you, who may have been wounded by violent, hardened ideologies of any kind. I ask your permission for the word 'prayer' to not create a wall of defense, or set of expectations, past which you cannot hear us. Our words hold a cradled dream of the world that we are collectively breathing into existence. This dream carries the blood memory of the ongoing desecration of earth and flesh by whiteness (in which enfold colonialism, ableism, patriarchy, and all the rest) yet dares to exhale a world of rewoven relations.

charlee: We tell ourselves stories all the time, whether they are stories about our individual origins (my mother did not terminate her pregnancy, she defied doctors, she refused sterilization and was able to refuse consent, this mixture is part of my story) or they are the tales we tell about the origins of the cosmos; they are all stories about how we are to live. 10 It is through listening to stories that we learn how to Be, 11 both our own existence and how we relate to all that is. When we stop listening to each other, we stop even the possibility of understanding, we limit our scope. Without a real comprehension of experience outside of our own perception, we are cut off and any consent we give or elicit is not consent.

Just tell the story. I am still learning to listen. Still waiting for the magic day where it all clicks into place and I astonish the world with my unparalleled ability for comprehension and articulation. Still waiting. And while I wait, I will tell you this story, and perhaps you will meet me at the intersection, where your experience and my experience hold space for each other, and that space is full of the heartbeat drum dance which suffuses every cell, living and dead.

marina: Begin with the well-trodden: the terrorized and terrorizing breaking of kinship relations—fueled by the Euro-American conception of personhood (that can be thought of as an incomplete humanism that denies personhood to the non-white and more-than-human world)—has brought all of us to a crossroads. One path is the precipice of the scorched earth, where earth, flesh, imagination, and spirit exist in separation. The other holds a potential for great transition. For restoration and reclaiming. Most days the path of the possible feels deeply shrouded, rarely encountered through a direct gaze. You and I locate ourselves in this place of reclamation, while land, medicine, illness, body, and agency are enacted on the terms of property, hierarchy, and genocide fueled by the "bioeconomic conception" 12 of life itself. Grasped within this reincarnating habit - "where 'kinship' loses meaning, since it can be invaded at any given and arbitrary moment by the property relations" 13 —our mutual dreaming forms the roots of my hope.

charlee: It is only for myself I speak, this particular situation I find myself in, working hard to stare at a screen, through the pain of glare, only so I tell you something, which can only be a window into the view from my home. Each one of us is the same, absolutely unique. I can't help what you hear.

marina: This opacity is a tricky thing. Even more tricky is that it isn't a thing at all. For opacity is a becoming, like water moving and shifting, shaping, acting, hardening and softening, with memory. To reclaim our right to opacity, to harness "its anticolonial force" is to both honor the intrinsic mystery and unknowability of each bodymind, and to resist "certain senses of knowing and understanding that would seek to absorb, reactivate, and possess." 14 Opacities are contextual, specific to people and places. They must be insisted upon.

A story might help: the other day, my eyes and body were tracing the spiraling patterns of the birds in the sky at sunset. They seemed to follow an invisible winding line that formed as they flew. Maybe thirty feet above my head, they began moving as large repeating circles. Keeping my eyes connected to the flock led me to turn in place. As I grew dizzy, the circling flock descended closer. Then a brief moment emerged where my own rotation and the flight of the birds were in sync. We stayed in this harmonious synchronicity for just a few breaths, when at the next loop the flock suddenly pivoted direction, breaking their and my circle pattern, and with it our momentary 'spell.'

How does the wind, the birds' wings, my body come to spontaneous agreement? To interwoven encounter? What compels them? How does the flock form choices of direction? On one level of listening, they are held in what may appear to be a zone of silence. I cannot ask, nor can they tell, 15 what beckons them. Yet it would be a gross transgression of their personhood to equate their silence with 'muteness.' Simply because they do not declare themselves to me in verbal language does not mark them as uncommunicative.

Their mystery, their zone of silence, is a facet of their opacity. It does not place them outside of consciousness nor intelligence, nor render them inferior. Rather, what the opacity of the birds demands of me is an ethic of full body (embodied) listening. The possibility for consent is formed upon recognition of what Aboriginal political philosopher Mary Graham 16 called "autonomous regard" and "custodial ethic." This obligation forms the ground of our equitable, distinct, non-transferable personhoods. Agreement to specific opacities may prevent evaluation and domination of self on someone else's terms. Could their breaking of our momentary synchronicity be considered a form of politics? Their expression of a shared multiverse?

Yet what about the birds who are forced (how often tortured?) by researchers to perform and yield "objective evidence" of their intelligence? 17 Trapped within a scientific and medical culture that imposes a worldview of tabula rasa, 18 held without autonomous regard. The researchers, who also suffer, are trained into numbness by a culture of science 19 that forbids affective relation, without which there cannot be a custodial ethic. 20 How can a community achieve opacity under the brutality of conditions which reject and dispossess the communicative worlds of all bodyminds? When under conditions of constant violation?

I call this violation and dispossession that is the heart of whiteness the terror of the flesh. Its result is an astounding silencing and suffocation of communicative being, what the great philosopher Achille Mbembe starkly called "the dank underbelly of modernity [that] has been an interminable war on life. And it is far from over." 6

Is terror the force that shapes the philosophy of nature that underpins western science and medicine? Torture nature's secrets from her said Francis Bacon, (1561-1626) so that "dominion over creation" lost in the Fall from Eden could be recovered 21; physiology will "subjugate living nature as dead nature has been subjected" spoke the father of physiology, Claude Bernard, in 1878. 9 It's 2021: why do our systems of knowledge still deny their own forms of subjugation, silencing and dispossession?

Yet it is not the terror itself (as we are all afraid), but the denial of it, that has shaped whiteness into an embedded set of logics that formed a modern world fueled by domination. I often wonder at how strange it is that whiteness is deeply afraid of, while so desperate and hungered for, relation.

An artist knows that a poem cannot be a liar. Every disabled person surrenders to the truth-telling of their bodyminds. The poetry of the body is a form of resistance to the terror that denies itself as it rejects earth and flesh. To reclaim the right to opacity is to insist that the politics and the poetics are bound together.

We are the oracles, 22 and our bodies are speaking.

Expanding what we imagine communication and personhood to be holds implications for both Indigenous and settler disability communities. The right to opacity embraces (rather than rejects) the "non-cognitive," the poetic, multiple ways of knowing, and the mysteries of relation and communication that can never fit into the 'clear' logics and dualities of the rational. Opacity must be politically achieved, over and over.

charlee: How will we fit ourselves into the definitions which are laid out for us by doctors? By our families? Ourselves? The boxes into which we are confined limit our becoming before we can even understand where we are, who we are and how we live. Will we be performing ourselves and responding to names which are not ours eternally? Cutting off bits and pieces to fit more neatly? Adding layers? An origami of the self. This is hurtful, of course. It makes it difficult if not impossible, for Indigenous, dis/abled people to see themselves interwoven into the fabric of social existence. Because we aren't wanted there, it is easier for doctors (some of whom are keenly aware of their social shift from being healers to being, in large part, archivists and gatekeepers), for folks controlling the purse strings, to say we are marginal, that we don't get to name ourselves and our bodyminds.

Naming, that gift which the Abrahamic story says God gave to Adam allowing for dominance and conquest, speaking instead of listening, and which the scientific community embraces in their obsession with classification, is essential for us to (re)claim; it is that Naming which brings us into conversation with ourselves, our dis/ease and our own opacity. That there is one way to deal with healing, trauma, dis/ability is patently false; we are intrinsic, essential, and foundational. Each expression is unique. What we 'offer' is our own glorious contradictory imperfections and balance, because we have been listening for generations. We haven't had a choice; we have been named and defined and had to listen while we were told whether we would walk, or live independently, or even live at all. For Indigenous people this is achingly true. We have had our words, our tongues, our wombs, much of our traditions, removed by Western education.

marina: This unspeakable silencing, that we as white people have enacted for so long against Indigenous people and the earth herself, we also enact upon ourselves. Before I could articulate the colonial logics of whiteness that are embedded in how biomedicine teaches 'body,' I learned to release its' disease-naming through puppetry animation. 23 I encountered the personhood of my illness and embodiment. Almost everything I know at the core of me is shaped by this encounter. This was the birth of my disability consciousness. It demanded that I release the silencing that had been taught to me by medicine about my crip embodiment.

Yet even in the disability community, when I speak of such encounters, I often seem to be invoking an unknown language. The exchange below from 2020 might offer a point of illumination:

Her: you do not have to love your chronic illness.

Me: No, but we do not have to center war, battles, 'defeating disease,' domination and all the rest.

Her: I'm tired of being told how to feel about a disease that has taken more from me than I'll ever truly be able to comprehend.

Me: Yes, illness takes, I certainly don't deny that. But, doesn't it also give? And if you can allow the possibility of that, then what happens? That is what I'm interested in. How this changes the world we inhabit. The worlds born from this give-and-take.

Her: I appreciate your perspective, but I cannot relate to it.

What is happening here? What she is expressing is grounded in a feeling of transgression: "a disease that has taken more from me than I'll ever truly be able to comprehend." The 'disease' has crossed the boundary of her bodymind, has violated her, against her consent. Certainly, this is a commonly-held feeling, and one that she has the full right to feel. She does not have to love her illness. Yet there's something deeper occurring here, and it has to do with the philosophy of nature and its resulting conceptions of personhood. She believes the 'disease' only takes. Placed into the zone of silence outside of the sphere of relation, nothing can be given in return, the possibility for give-and-take is closed.

At the risk of slippage, i will not parse the distinctions between disease, illness and disability. My refusal has to do with reclaiming. The disease naming of biomedicine creates solid walls and labels for embodied living processes. Yet there are other ways of coming to know them. There are other forms of knowledge making for that-which-is-named disease/illness/disability X. To refuse to parse embodied life into bio-logic divisions, into false subjective/objective divides, is a political act of resistance for the right to opacity of poetic knowledge. 24 Biomedicine only taught me to subjugate, to silence. 25 For many years, I attempted to die 26. It was finding my connection to water, and through artistic encounter, that I learned to surrender. I finally began living when the suicidal pain of being taught to withhold relation from my disability released me!

Allow many names. Allow remaining unnamed. Allow many ways of un/naming.

I acknowledge loss, pain, and mental suffering, as well as the need for community. I access and use medical treatments. What i am suggesting is that loss is not the only possibility. The default relationship of disease/illness/disability as violation of personhood—as outside relation—is part of a worldview that most of us are indoctrinated into without our consent. This belief is connected to the view of nature that is afraid of itself, that has to be dominated, et al. 27 Shaped by a denied terror of traumatized relation with earth and flesh, whiteness denies relationality and kinship with disabled being.

Such relation is not easy. When i peeled back the bandage of forced silencing of my bodymind (an echo of the same habit of violated encounter that shapes the West) and let illness speak, i wept for years. Those tears are burned into the fibres of my being. Yet though they did not cure me, they healed me, releasing the poison that had been taught to me about illness, body, history, and being. What lived on the other side of tears was beauty.

Disease, illness and disability are part of life. To encounter beyond-human personhood is to feel that the earth herself holds consciousness and desire. It is to be in kinship relation with the more-than-human world. This does not mean false familiarity; autonomous regard holds strangeness, unknowability, danger. 'Knowing' or 'understanding' someone's personhood is not a prerequisite for relation and custodial ethic, since consciousness and the capacity for communication is present in all bodyminds and materials. That biomedicine believes it can ever know and dominate 'disease' is one of the greatest colonial farces! Can we allow encounter to remain strange? 28 Communication, connection, and relation are happening in every moment. This means that relations based on consent exist on multiple registers.

The perpetual trouble is that such encounters of kinship cannot be explained. There are no words 29 that i can say to you to explain it. Simply put, the encounter of mutual personhoods must be felt. The experience of embodied feeling must be able to move the person past the terror of the flesh (constituted by the Western idea of nature as property, nature as threat, and nature as knowable 30) and into redemptive humility, surrender, and enchanted awe.

Encounters do not equate into transparency; they operate within 'the right to opacity for everyone.' Yes, illness, too, holds the right to opacity. For illness speaks on ki's 31 own terms.

charlee: These life-deaths, these are states of Being, each impossible without the other. These moments of symbiosis wherein we realize when we hold them in opposition we manufacture dichotomy. Life dictates no separation.

This morning i am watching the sunrise, today it is a thin glowing line breaking on the blue. It is calming and good to see while my body heals. I am listening to the sunrise, you could say. We have good talks, you and i, about the body and the land. And about consent. That consent is essential for living in these bodies, for living with the land. These are things i hope we can continue to speak about because they never go away. There is no formula, no one way. What is good for me may not be good for you.

I want to tell you why i'm healing, from what i am resting my body today. I haven't always listened to my body, we've had several disagreements.

Today, because i can still feel the bandage on my cervix which she placed there, i am thinking of my doctor. I am thinking of how long i have known her, how she knows some of the most intimate details of me, more than my friends perhaps. I am thinking of how we parallel prayed, like toddlers playing. Until the other day, i did not know that she prayed. Before she cut on me, cut a piece out of me and then cauterized the wound with a burning i could hear and smell but not feel, before this day it did not occur to me to ask. In the world, i have found, asking about prayer is often less well received than asking about masturbation habits. As i waited in the room, listening to a relative sing and trying to prepare myself, i realize i want this doctor to pray before she touches me; before she wields her tools to excise a cellular rebellion i want her waxpáyiⁿ, humble. I want her with me in this endeavor; i want her to take a moment to connect.

It is a strange thing perhaps to want your doctor to be humble, but that humility in the face of the unknowable comforts me, it connects us. When she comes into the room i ask her, "Do you pray?" She looks startled and turns to shut the door behind her, looking to see if anyone has heard. "Yes," she says but she does not elaborate nor do i ask. I tell her then that i would like her to pray before she performs this procedure. She again looks startled, but also more determined, her face is different than i have seen it before. Somehow, with just her eyes visible, her expression is more clear. "Out loud or in my head?" "You do you, just pray." I can't help but notice, as i watch her from my prone and open position how she grips her tools, how it looks like she is getting ready to carve a holiday bird. It is christmas eve. She nods, and there is a pause, a breath before she touches me. In that breath i hear her prayer, as she, no doubt, hears mine. "Guide her hands, i pray, let this heal me, i pray, let me ne maⁿye yiⁿge, walk without pain. Don't let her mess this up."

marina: To insist on consent in conditions of impossibility, we whisper our dreams as seeds for the future (as dreams whisper us.) To remember—across hardened, wounded, fraying edges—that each pattern of relation calls forth its own description. In the space of breath between the names, have we accomplished what we intended? No cure for the aching. The task is to uninscribe the existing pattern so that a new one may take hold. A redescription to yield fresh inscriptions. To love the world through all this heartache. To laugh—yes, laugh!—at the dream of the disappearance of all disease. 32 We remember against the force of forgetting: if the earth herself and all her relations (plant, molecule, human, and animal) hold intelligence, consciousness, communication, and desire (for in our desire for others is the birth of all ethics 33), how can any of us be unworthy?

charlee: When it is over, she tells me that i did well, i tell her that she did too. She laughs but i am in earnest, it is my prayer that she does well, so that i will do well. We are symbiotic.

Consent has no prescription.


  1. Amanda "Mel" Baggs, "In My Language," YouTube, uploaded January 14, 2007, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnylM1hI2jc.
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  2. Muriel Rukeyser, "Käthe Kollwitz," Poetry Foundation, July 3, 2021, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/90874/kathe-kollwitz.
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  3. Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (New York: Vintage, 2014).
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  4. Eli Clare, Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017). https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1168bcj
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  5. Benjamin P. Davis, "The Politics of Édouard Glissant's Right to Opacity," The CLR James Journal 25, no. 1/2 (December 2019): 59–70. https://doi.org/10.5840/clrjames2019121763
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  6. Neither Glissant, nor we the authors, use the word 'right' within the liberal humanist framework of human rights. As the disability justice movement is anticolonial at its core, we are called to envision what might exist beyond current state-based disability rights. Consult also Waleed Aly, Scott Stephens, Mary Graham, and Morgan Brigg, "Can Aboriginal Political Philosophy and Liberalism be Reconciled?" The Minefield Podcast, November 11, 2020, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/theminefield/can-aboriginal-political-philosophy-and-political-liberalism-be/12864966 and Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, 2010 https://celdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/UNIVERSAL-DECLARATION-OF-THE-RIGHTS-OF-MOTHER-EARTH-APRIL-22-2010.pdf
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  7. Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation, Translated by Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997). https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.10257
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  8. Achille Mbembe, "The Universal Right to Breathe," Critical Inquiry, translated by Carolyn Shread, 47, no. S2 (January 2021): S58–62. https://doi.org/10.1086/711437
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  9. Ed Cohen, A Body Worth Defending: Immunity, Biopolitics, and the Apotheosis of the Modern Body (Durham:Duke University Press, 2009). https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv121028v
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  10. Here i am asking us to go back to our origin stories, how we believe we came to Be, this perception will have a great influence on how we experience the world. The introduction of Barbara Sproul's Primal Myths lays out this line of thought in great detail. Sproul, "Introduction," In Primal Myths: Creation Myths Around the World (New York: HarperCollins, 1979), 1-30.
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  11. This is an outgrowth of Paul Tillich's refusal to 'prove' God. Since God is not a being but rather, "the ground of all Being/Not Being" there is no need to 'prove,' phenomenologically speaking, it simply 'Is.'
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  12. David Scott, Sylvia Wynter, "The Re-Enchantment of Humanism: An Interview with Sylvia Wynter," Strelka Mag (Sept. 2000): 182. https://strelkamag.com/en/article/the-re-enchantment-of-humanism-an-interview-with-sylvia-wynter.
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  13. Hortense J. Spillers,"Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book," Diacritics 17, no. 2 (1987): 74. https://doi.org/10.2307/464747. This quote speaks specifically to conditions of chattel slavery invading Black familial relations. It is referenced in terms of how relations based on property and possession continue to reincarnate. See also, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, The white possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty (University of Minnesota Press, 2015).
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  14. Both quotes are from John Drabinski, Glissant and the Middle Passage: Philosophy, Beginning, Abyss (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019), 13 referenced in Davis, 65, Endnote 5. https://doi.org/10.5749/j.ctvh4zj15
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  15. Which is not to imply that they never can, as each encounter is particular to its specific time and place. Our crip brilliance can make possible many crossings. For example, Susanne Paola Antonetta writes how "The time I saw the walls trembling, I heard a bird tell me, persist persist. This wasn't figurative. The bird, a robin, spoke. Her advice was excellent. I've followed it." in "A Drinkable Beauty," Orion Magazine, Volume 40, no. 4, 2021, 7.
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  16. Mary Graham, "Some Thoughts about the Philosophical Underpinnings of Aboriginal Worldviews – AHR," Australian Humanities Review 45 (November 2008) http://australianhumanitiesreview.org/2008/11/01/some-thoughts-about-the-philosophical-underpinnings-of-aboriginal-worldviews/.
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  17. As but one example, I think of Alex, a famous parrot who for thirty-years was part of an experiment as his researcher Irene Pepperberg – who genuinely cared for him – sought to prove his intelligence to the scientific community. Yet I am also thinking of the over a million animals per year on whom biomedical and scientific research depends. If we are to take the duties of relation and custodial ethic between all life and matter, between all persons (human, animal, plant, soil, water, air and beyond) seriously, we must grapple with how the violence of scientific and biomedical research culture collides with disabled life. Despite the astounding difficulty of the question, i must ask: what is western science and medicine without its embedded colonial gaze, and what does that mean for us?
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  18. Robert Duschinsky, "'Tabula Rasa' and Human Nature," Philosophy 87, no. 342 (2012): 509–29. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031819112000393
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  19. To think towards a different scientific research culture, see Kyle Whyte, "Sciences of Consent: Indigenous Knowledge, Governance Value, and Responsibility," The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Philosophy of Science (Routledge, 2020), 117-130.
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  20. Irene Pepperberg describes 'the barrier of scientific objectivity' that fell from her upon Alex's death, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrX1nrvPbLY. I asked a bioethicist who oversees scientific animal research if the relationship between researchers and animals is discussed in research ethics deliberations. (It isn't.) What ethics can there be without attending to this fundamental relationship?
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  21. Carolyn Merchant, "'The Violence of Impediments': Francis Bacon and the Origins of Experimentation," Isis 99, no. 4 (December 2008): 731-60. p. 734. https://doi.org/10.1086/597767
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  22. Alice Wong, "Message from the Future: Disabled Oracle Society," Disability Visibility Project, August 14, 2020, https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2020/08/14/message-from-the-future-disabled-oracle-society/.
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  23. Marina Tsaplina, "Bodies Speaking: Embodiment, Illness and the Poetic Materiality of Puppetry/Object Practice," Journal of Applied Arts & Health11, no. 1–2 (July 2020): 85–102. IngentaConnect. https://doi.org/10.1386/jaah_00020_1
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  24. Aime Cesaire, "Poetry and Knowledge," Poetry in theory: an anthology, 1900-2000 (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 275-287.
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  25. Marina Tsaplina, "Silence and Sirens: Diabetes, Whiteness, and the Echoes of Mourning and Militancy," unpublished manuscript (2020).
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  26. Esther Perel speaks of how differently people can recover from trauma as "The people who did not die, and the people who came back to life." Esther Perel "The erotic is an antidote to death" available online at https://onbeing.org/programs/esther-perel-the-erotic-is-an-antidote-to-death/ 2019
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  27. Carolyn Merchant identified across Francis Bacon's numerous texts the verbs "torment," "transmute," "torture," "vex," "hound," "alter," "constrain," "confine," "constrict," "change," "capture," "conquer," "disclose," "extract," "mold," "penetrate," "shake," "shape," "squeeze," "straiten," "struggle," "subdue," "wrest," and "wrestle." Merchant, "'The Violence of Impediments,'" 748 – 749, Endnote 20.
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  28. In L'Intrus, Jean-Luc Nancy describes his embodied experience of a heart transplant as the presence of a stranger who intrudes: 'I am closed open'. He meditates on strangeness and intrusion: 'if he already has the right to enter and remain, if he is awaited and received without any part of him being unexpected or unwelcome, he is no longer the intrus, nor is he any longer the stranger.' How many ways can we encounter a stranger? Do we alter (though not erase) intrusion through our consent to relation with the unknowable? This is for future conversation. Jean-Luc Nancy, L'Intrus, Translated by Susan Hanson (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2002), available online at http://www.maxvanmanen.com/files/2014/10/Nancy-LIntrus.pdf.
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  29. Such irreducible encounters of illuminated opacity is the work of all art that is worth its salt, though you'd have no idea that was so if you read the 2020 American Association of Medical College's arts in medical education report. Calling for a disability conscious medical education, and for incorporating the arts into the training of doctors, is critical, yet cannot be achieved without shifting the philosophical underpinnings of nature held in biomedicine, as well as the practices that shape its pedagogies.
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  30. "Control desires knowledge; thus, incomprehensible knowledge must be de-authenticated." Chris Andersen and Brendan Hokowhitu, "Whiteness: Naivety, Void and Control," Junctures 8 (June 2007): 43-44, available online at https://era.library.ualberta.ca/items/d48947c9-2844-4072-92d9-b00a01178d3c/view/b9f30886-9fda-4c3a-bb98-c51d5c24a786/Junctures_8_2007.pdf
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  31. Robin Wall Kimmerer graciously suggests the Anishinaabe word ki to replace the word 'it' in the English language. This tiny seed of a great gift, against a backdrop of such dispossession. Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2013), 55 - 59.
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  32. Michel Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception (New York: Routledge, 2003), 32.
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  33. Deborah Bird Rose, "Connectivity Thinking, Animism, and the Pursuit of Liveliness," Educational Theory 67, no. 4 (August 2017): 491–508. https://doi.org/10.1111/edth.12260
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