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Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett

This is a summary of Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter, along with some of my own arguments about the political implications of her work.

Ok, disclaimer: this isn’t really a summary. A friend read this post and noted that Jane Bennett doesn’t even really cover some of the stuff I’m talking about below. So this is more of a riff on Bennett’s book, rather than a close reading or a summary of ideas.

But, I’d say that’s consistent with Bennett’s own project, since she is prone to ask “what can a body do?” (or “what can a book do?”) rather than asking what it is. This means experimenting with what’s possible, rather than trying to focus on stable qualities or properties. Because when we focus on what something is, we separate it from what it could be. So this is about what Bennett’s work could be; or what it makes possible. There. That’s what I’m doing.


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