So many ways of wishing that people were other than as they are…
Jane Bennett is Professor of Political Theory and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Her published books include Thoreau’s Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild (1994), The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics (2001), and her latest Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (2010).
- Interview conducted by Gulshan Khan
“I think that human agency is best conceived as itself the outcome or effect of a certain configuration of human and nonhuman forces. When humans act they do not exercise exclusively human powers, but express and engage a variety of other actants, including food, micro-organisms, minerals, artefacts, sounds, bio- and other technologies, and so on. There is a difference between a human individual and a stone, but neither considered alone has real agency. The locus of agency is always a human–nonhuman collective.” – Jane Bennett