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Viscous Porosity: Witnessing Katrina Nancy Tuana. Realism: what exists is independent of human interactions (190) Constructionism: what exists is emergent from human interactions (191).

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Viscous porosity witnessing katrina nancy tuana

Viscous Porosity:Witnessing KatrinaNancy Tuana


Realism: what exists is independent of human interactions (190)Constructionism: what exists is emergent from human interactions (191)


Viscous: neither fluid nor solid; intermediate (193-4)Porous: distinctions don’t signify impermeable boundaries (194)


Interactionism
interactionism

  • “acknowledges both the agency of materiality and the porosity of entities” (191)

  • “removes any hard and fast divide between nature and culture…realism and…constructivism” (191)

  • “we cannot sift…and separate what is ‘natural’ from what is ‘human-induced’” (193)


What s lost in ignoring interactionism
What’s lost in ignoring interactionism?

“As the phenomenon of Katrina’s devastation has taught us all too well, the knowledge that is too often missing and is often desperately needed is at the intersection between things and people, between feats of engineering and social structures, between experiences and bodies” (189).


Katrina showed us how ignorance is materialized 203
…Katrina showed us how “ignorance is materialized” (203)


Poverty leaves its effects in the bodies and psyches of those it touches. This material-semiotic interaction should come as no surprise to anyone. Grow up without proper nutrition, and physiological development will be affected. Grow up without educational resources, and cognitive development will be affected. Grow up living the effects of institutionalized racism, and trust in those institutions will be affected” (203).


Epistemic responsibility requires that we attempt to understand the interactions that result in poverty [racism, hetero/sexism, speciesism, ableism, etc.] (204)


Part of the psychology of living in New Orleans, a city in which there are points at which cargo boats on the river are sailing on water levels significantly higher than street level, is believing that human agency will win out over other forms of material agency” (197). “…denial is a powerful force” (197).


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