Matter is an effect of power

“...agential matter is a central achievement of biopower’s racializing effects. Porosity and vitality are biopoloitical tactics of racialization and demand interrogation as such, rather than masquerading as neutral qualities of life itself that are discovered by science and exist before the political. The idea of porous,plastic, vital matter is not in itself an alternative to liberal humanism; it is one of the unnamed effects of the biopolitical ontology in which humanism was enlisted. Biopower itself lies at the foundational of agential/mechanical and culture/matter binaries. What we need is theories that account fo the coconstitution of material and cultural processes over time.”

Kyla Schuller, The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex and Science in the Nineteenth Century. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017.

Kyla Tompkins