Bodily Natures – An Interview with Stacy Alaimo

From New Books in Critical Theory:

In her book, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self (Indiana University Press, 2010), Stacy Alaimo approaches the concepts of “science, environment, and self” in an extremely novel and inventive way. The central concept in Alaimo’s work is that of “trans-corporeality” which she describes as a way of theorizing the relationship between humanity and the world at large as not being clearly delineated and separate, but as fluid. As this relates specifically to nature and the environment, Alaimo’s intention is for the reader to reimagine questions of environmental ethics and environmental practices as not isolated issues but rather deeply personal as the environment and our material selves are bound up with one another in a deeply intimate manner.

I found Alaimo’s central approach with “trans-corporeality,” theorizing the human as being “already in the world,” extremely refreshing when compared to the idea of human agency in postmodern studies. In this way, Alaimo provides an alternate framework for conceiving of human agency, and thus an “out” of sorts, a release, from the bounds of postmodernism’s isolated and castrated human agent. Alaimo calls this novel direction, “New Materialisms.” With this concept, Alaimo offers new insights into feminist thought and theory. Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self is sure to appeal to many students and scholars of literary studies and critical theory.

 Interview with Stacy Alaimo [ 49:53 ]: Stream | Play in Popup | Download

6 responses to “Bodily Natures – An Interview with Stacy Alaimo

  1. I appreciate that D. Now if only that ‘work’ would manifest into something tangible maybe we could get around to the kinds of practical applications you keep pleading for.. Be that as it may trans-corporeality is an essential concept for breaking down some major categorical mistakes plaguing human thought.

    • I thought it resonated with your work in interesting ways and glad to hear that you do too (one never knows how one’s associations will play out to/for others) but yes the question of how these matters (pardon the pun) get worked out in the day to day living we all do is essential to moving beyond the merely academic/speculative. I know that you are deep in both the texts/theory and the ‘field’ of organizations and personal training and look forward to seeing how we might not just bring these two streams together but to bring other people into the mix. I think a blog could be the contemporary version of the whole earth catalog, our bodies ourselves, anarchist cookbook, etc. with the added elements of comments and updates/posts, take civic-hacking to another level if you will.

  2. Great interview. It’s from Alaimo that I got the term transcorporealism for the Stoic-Merleau-Pontian choreographic sensibility stuff.


    Can reality hacking also be weaponised? Recently had a discussion with an anti-fa friend on how to counter fascists who are undergoing “fight club” style training programs. My go-to response is a kind of biosabotage- a scrambling of neuro-endocrinological codes. But how? Of course…this is an entirely academic and hypothetical question and/or I’m asking for a friend.

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