Sticky, waddling: An autobiography of pregnant embodiment in Toronto’s crypto-economy

Authors: Maral Sotoudehnia*, University of Victoria
Topics: Gender, Field Methods, Cyberinfrastructure
Keywords: autobiography; cryptocurrencies; generative power (potentia/potestas); on-demand economy; pregnant embodiment
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: Marshall South, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In this article, I present autobiographical reflections to trace the force relations that stuck to my pregnant body during my doctoral fieldwork. Autobiographical writing exposes the ways I trundled, both in figurative and embodied ways, through the research process while navigating fieldwork, pregnancy and work at a blockchain and cryptocurrency startup in Toronto, Ontario. Analytically, the use of autobiography traces how restrictive and generative notions of power, or potestas and potentia, diverge and intersect to produce sticky, waddling subjects: bodies stuck in the constraining flows of potestas, and/or waddling through undercurrents of potentia. Autobiographies of pregnant embodiment reveal the agentic qualities of emotions, highlighting what they do. Situated reflections demonstrate how power, emotions, and (pregnant) bodies become joyful (or not). This article therefore seeks to extend wider debates taking place among feminist geographers interested in affirmation, emotions, and creative writing methods by demonstrating the analytical possibilities of autobiography to encourage a sustainable ethics under emerging forms of digital capitalism.

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