Gelatin is exquisitely relational in that it is a kind of matter that absorbs energy from its environment- sound waves for instance - and then makes that energy visible and material in real time. Gelatin is also a food whose history is closely intertwined with class, poverty, haute cuisine and the creation of metabolic biopolitics during the nineteenth century in Europe and the United States.
In the jelly video shown above, made by the experimental and science-focused chefs and researchers at Modernist Cuisine, a slow-motion video shows gelatin bouncing against a surface in slow motion or twisting and shuddering when prodded by a large human finger.
The history and aesthetics of gelatin, as a form, as a material governed by non-Newtonian physics and as a poor person's foodstuff linked to the re-purposing of slaughterhouse waste in the nineteenth century is the subject of one of the chapters of So Moved.
So Moved: Ferment, Jelly, Intoxication, Rot
In So Moved I map the recategorization of microbiopolitical life, criminality and the citizenship form across two historical shifts in the United States: the history of Pasteurian science and the failure of Radical Reconstruction that led to the consequent rise of federal Progressivism. A history of lively matter (and thus a critical and historical engagement with new materialist philosophy) as well as a meditation on interdisciplinary methodologies, my central argument in this book is that we can map the production of racial categories and affective forms onto the history of matter and vice versa. More than that, the work of this book is also to show how that alignment can be usefully inhabited to produce an interdisciplinary and methodological intervention into theories of politics and aesthetics.
Keywords in gender and Sexuality Studies.
Managing Editor. Editorial Collective: Aren Aizura, Aimee Bhang, Karma Chavez, Mishuana Goeman, Amber Musser, Shona Jackson.
Ball Busters and the Recurring Trauma of Intergenerational Queer/Feminist Life
“Ball Busters and the Recurring Trauma of
Intergenerational Queer/Feminist Life” Inside Killjoy’s Kastle: Lesbian Feminist Hauntings and Queer Direct-Action Aesthetics.”
Edited by Allyson Mitchell (York University) and Cait McKinney (McGill University). Published by UBC (University of British Columbia) Press, AGYU (Art Gallery of York University) Publications and ONE National Lesbian and Gay Archive at USC Libraries.
"On the Limits and Promise of the New Materialism," reprint in European New Materialisms.
(Edited by Felicity Colman and Iris van der Tuin)
"Food," Keywords in American Cultural Studies. New York: NYU Press. 2019.
(Edited by Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler)
Review Essay, American Quarterly.
Forthcoming, December 2018