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[...]roup of bacteria includes many harmless mud-dwellers but it also contains a few scary freaks: the treponeme of syphilis and the borrelias of Lyme disease. We animals got our exquisite ability to sense our surroundings--to tell light from dark, noise from silence, motion from stillness and fresh water from brackish brine--from a kind of bacterium whose relatives we despise.”

re-thinking consciousness

(Kenney) Margulis's speculations: they mattered, they worlded, they gathered

(Williamson:) larvae and adult insects of the same species do not have a common ancestor(!)
(how ?, the capacity for) drastic morphological change --> what would it be like to emerge as a moth with a new body, a new sensorium, with your caterpillar-self only a genomic memory?
reincarnation from one species to another

(need less?) just-so stories --> facts to live with
(need more?) what-if stories --> speculations to savor --(gives taste to)--> *paradigms* --> incommensurable ways of seeing the world and practicing science in it (Kohn) --> seeds for sowing worlds (Haraway) ~--> possibilities for thinking life***

(Kenney's proposal of) “bureau of what-if stories
(--> Fables of Attention - Wonder in Feminist Theory and Scientific Practice 2013)

(Margulis's) holobiont: multicellular eukaryotes plus their colonies of persistent symbionts

ajayeb's craft and undisciplined tradition can be called empirical, it is an example of an archival research (done by historian.) i wan to highlight the aesthetic quality of this activity.
*aesthetics: how elements are arranged together, how they are composed, how they are brought into relation in the space of a text (Kenney Latour, Stengers, Bellacasa) (--> La Guin's bag, bundle) }--> rigs
**aesthetics are political because they do consequential relational work**

novels, poetry, feminist theory, speculative fiction, bestiary list categories--these genres of composition *gather together* and *stage* their “matters of care” in ways that perform relations between things and teach their readers to inhabit sometimes unfamiliar, agential world. they are practices of sf worlding.

fiction ==> attitude --> holds things

(emphasis on) worlds that come together through dispersal (vofur وفور), induction (makesh مکش), volatility (farar فرّار), toxicity, drift,

landscape cartography mapping affect architecture narrative space heaven paradise sky God environment embodiment technique [source: Sina Seifee] the power that comes with ‘other’ (time/place of) styles of composing

(*bestiary is agential world*, that's why it is so interesting when you are available to it as a child. i am drawn to it --> agency bestiary sets to betray the anthropocentric binary: “active human =/= passive nature”)
(how to tell?) faithful and fantastic stories ==> better companion species

*a shift in humanities scholarship
(feminist science studies, the post humanities, the ecological humanities, animal studies, queer theory,) humanities scholars have represented their matters of care with an aesthetic (and therefore political) commitment to narrating stories with an emphasis on the relationality among agencies, forces, phenomena, and entities usually kept separate, in the background, or out of the story altogether (lde a Bellacasa)
--> redistribution of agencies
political stake ==> aesthetic tactics

poet laureates of queer animacies
“malek-o-sho'ara-e atefiate mahsus-e edrakat-e zende” (ملک الشعرا عاطفیات محسوس ادراکات زنده)

(animacy: Usually, animacy has to do with how alive or how sentient a noun is. In general, personal pronouns have the highest animacy, the first-person being the highest among them. Other humans follow them, and animals, plants, natural forces such as winds, concrete things, and abstract things follow in this order; however, according to the spiritual beliefs of the people whose language possesses an animacy hierarchy, deities, spirits, or certain types of animal or plant may be ranked very highly in the hierarchy.)

**animacy stories --> multitude of agencies
(what are the contemporary ajayeb animacy stories?

(neo-Darwinian's) standard evolutionary accounts of encounter between species (in terms of “sexual deception”) ==> individuation, competition, efficiency --> capitalist and military values (, economic tropes)
==> disenchanted “ecologies, populated by blind, reactive automations”

evolutionary stories =/= involutionary stories --> organisms become *involved* with one another's lives

(involution, pich-dar پیچدار, act or an instance of enfolding or entangling, an inward curvature or penetration; a function, transformation, or operator that is equal to its inverse, i.e. which gives the identity when applied to itself.)

mimetic relations among plants and animals take shape in the thickness of the space between bodies, where affect and sensations are *transduced* through *excitable* tissues” (Myers & Hustak)--> affective ecologies, intimate encounters, articulate orchids

(on ajayeb,) ***creating sticky new attachment sites for thinking (human/nonhuman relations)***
###learning multiple writing tactics:
thick description
reading against the grain
citational poaching (shekar-e gheir-mojaz شکار غیر مجاز) (also, i am trying to quote Muhammad, Sa'di, ajayeb, the bird sometimes, and something is called in)
speculative fiction

==> to move/draw myself and my reader into my matter of care

project of *narrative remediation*, to re-story, to stage matters of care differently

(biological) ‘resilience’ is a tricky thing to narrate in ‘relational worlds’ (=/= military world) abounding with transforming and transformative agencies***

to meet the future organisms that we are becoming (Hayward) --> stories that figure us as: {constituted, contaminated, vulnerable, agential, creative, expressive,}--> all at the same time; (how to hold them all together?)

(Stryker Haraway Hayward Kenney Sina Cinderella)
***so much that constitutes me I did not choose, but, now constituted, I feel myself in a place of agency*** ----> (my) ontological obligation {ontology: what there is and what debts we owe to it}--> *involutionary storytelling* (~/->? involuntary storytelling)

--> lives, affects, and bodies of organisms: “energetic forces, coextensive overlappings, shared milieus make species; species are sensuous responses” **Hayward

thinking with animals : {figural + literal}
spiders, rats, ...

“the transitioning body is also a gossamer outstretch of homeliness, energetic force or potential, a discursive pulse, a throb of sensations distributed across sensoriums, spaces, and times, delimiting territory but also sensing zones, places, and coherences.”

criticism = speculative fantasy

undoing the eye's property of vision (Kelley and Hayward)

([my account of] ajayeb's stories are) moral tales that model an ecological attention to relationality, vulnerability, and resilience ==> living well in a world contaminated (by all sorts of linguistic and chemical animacies)

*traumatic hope*
(Sedgwick: the reparatively positioned reader tries to recognize the fragments and part-objects she encounters or creates ~= what i am doing)

why tell stories like this, when there are only more and more openings and no bottom lines? --> because there are quite definite response-abilities that are strengthened in such stories (La Guin Haraway Kenney)

bottomless story ==> response-ability (an enabling of responsiveness within particular relatings--Schrader 2010)

not only human call & not only human respond --> the world is full of “propositions” (waiting to be registered by interested bodies) [yes we need to produce ‘interested bodies']

fables of response-ability draw our attention to who is interested and who is made articulate in the apparatuses and ecologies we live inside.” (Kenney)*****

what is a narrative good for if it doesn't improve the quality of companionship (between human and nonhuman)? if it doesn't generate new sensitivities and enable different patterns of responsiveness?

stories of relationship ==> enlarge our thinking [=/= raising awareness]
these stories cannot known in advance --> note on fable #workshop, when you are excited about an assigned reading in a specific way only to find out that the participants connect or disconnect to something i don't notice[...]