How would it work to do postqualitative or feminist new materialist/ posthumanist research in ways which are both accountable (responsible) and responsive (response-able)? Cultivating accountability and the capacity to respond are crucial both for research and for academic work in general as they emanate from actual situated practices and material arrangements and how these might enable or constrain flourishing and living well in the world, rather than a focus on codified masculinist ethical rules. This chapter thinks with the work of Karen Barad, Vinciane Despret, Donna Haraway and Joan Tronto, who have all written about responsibility (by which they mean accountability), and response-ability or the ability to respond. These feminist theorists have developed their ideas of responsibility and response-ability from the basis of a relational ontology, which is predicated on the notion that entities, or subjects and objects do not pre-exist relationships, but rather come into being through relationships. Responsibility from this viewpoint emanates from relationships, is never finished and involves more than human individuals, as does the ability to respond. Much can be learnt from work with non-human others like animals in terms of responsibility and response-ability, as will be illuminated in the chapter.


Vivienne Bozalek