11am US Eastern / 5pm CET
"I Want to Sustain Wonder": On Science and Literature
Abstract: “I want to sustain wonder,” announces Katherine McKittrick in Dear Science and Other Stories (2020). In this talk, I take up McKittrick’s call to argue that wonder is an affective epistemology that enables the reimagination of what it means to know the natural world and an individual’s place in it. Through encounters with René Descartes, Adam Smith, Luce Irigaray, and Sara Ahmed, I present an archaeology of 18th-century wonder as a heuristic wherein difference is unreconciled, where self and other are unfamiliar. As the archive of 18th-century scientific and literary texts reveals, the space-time of wonder produces its own form of knowability with powerful implications for a more radical epistemology and a more just sociability.