Bridging, Leaking

Authors: Alysse Kushinski*, York University
Topics: Social Theory, Social Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Leaking, hydrofeminism, new materialism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Madison B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In attending to the interrogation of the hydrological relationships that constitute Earth, this presentation focuses on a specific dynamic of particular importance in the contemporary moment – that of leaking. While watery bodies bear great potentials as sites of becoming (Alaimo 2016, Chandler and Neimanis 2013, Neimanis 2017), modes of power endeavor to contain these bodies from one another. Leaks represent immense threats to these logics of containment (Deleuze 1992) – it is from here that I trace the leak as a disruptive agent that transcends materialities. From the fleshiness of leaky bodies (Shildrick 1997) to the cracked structures of industrialization and colonial control (Foucault 1976, Graham and Thrift 2007); from the seepings of our earthly home (Nixon 2011, Morton 2013) to the strategic tapping of information flows (Goffey 2012, Micali 2018), the leak is not an object of a particular form or discipline, but is integral to them all. This presentation follows the leak through many of its instantiations as a means of gesturing towards the incredible entanglement of actors that constitute our landscapes of ecological disaster, networked technologies, hypercapitalist logics, and ethical responsibilities. When a hydrofeminist approach asks us to consider the material realities of water as a “a conduit and mode of connection” (Neimanis 2012), we must also contemplate the specificities of connections that form by way of leaking. It is to these ends that this presentation interrogates the possibilities of the leak, as both a site and an actor, questioning what threats and opportunities it holds

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