Close encounters of a critical kind: A diffractive musing in/between new material feminism and object-oriented ontology

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14 Citations (Scopus)


For a number of years, new material feminists have been developing new theoretical tools, new modes of conceptual analysis, and new ethical frameworks. Object-oriented ontology, part of the speculative realism "movement," has been engaged in something similar. Yet these endeavors have often taken place in "parallel universes," despite sharing - or at least colliding around - a range of somewhat similar ontological and epistemological commitments. Composed as a diffractive musing encounter, the article brings Barad's Meeting the Universe Halfway, already a "foundational" text for new material feminism, into an encounter with a speculative realist text of the same "foundational" status, Harman's The Quadruple Object. The article develops a notion of diffractive musing as embodied, sensory struggle which instantiates intellectual generosity as a mode of critique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Issue number2
Early online date3 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • critique
  • diffraction
  • musing
  • new material feminism
  • speculative realism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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Carol Taylor

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