Trans-corporeal Materialism

Short SummaryAs a move to read with corporeal theories and environmental theories affirmatively, Stacy Alaimo generated a new term that she refers to as trans-corporeal feminisms. She describes trans-corporeal feminisms (often referred to as trans-corporeal materialisms) in her chapter “Trans-Corporeal Feminisms and the Ethical Space of Nature,” found in the book she edited with Susan Hekman titled Material Feminisms. The purpose of her essay is to address: feminists resistance to biology and the material turn, how to conceptualize material agency, ethics and their links to knowledge-things, and time as an open space for unknowns to emerge.

Alaimo's description of trans-corporeal feminism is similar in methodology, influential authors, and onto-epistemological understanding as new materialism. I would argue that the difference between these two manners of thinking and doing include: the affirmative reading of environment theory and corporeal theory, an object one might study with these thinking practices, and what Alaimo is trying to signify with trans-corporeal, or beyond bodies.

Methodology Key Terms, Concepts, Ideas
Biology as changing and transformingDisruption of dualist thinkingTaking materiality seriously as important and connected to culture; inseperablematerial agency/agency without subjects

AuthorsStacy Alaimo

Authors Drawn onKaren Barad, Lynda Birke, Susan Bordo, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Judith Butler, William Cronon, Teresa De Lauretis, Margaret FitzSimmons, Moria Gatens, David Goodman, Donna Haraway, Myra Hird, Linda Hogan, Vicki Kirby, Julia Kristeva, Ladelle McWhorter, Carolyn Merchant, Andrew Pickering, Val Plumwood, Catriona Sandilands, Sandra Steingraber, Nancy Tuana, Susan Wendell, Elizabeth Wilson.


Alaimo, Stacy, and Susan J. Hekman. Material Feminisms. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 2008. Print.