‘Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair’: reparative intimacies with the pandemic’s child


Saving lives from the pandemic put people under the rule of exception. But for those already regulated through social hygiene,those “inhuman, and humans-humus” surviving in “refuges” (Haraway 2016),government tightening of social distancing was not a pastoral command for economizing physical contact but criminalization of life. This paper explores how contact zones--wherein marginality, social abandonment, morbidity and slow learning are recomposted as zones of life-- reckoned with social distancing and shaming for not distancing enough by reclaiming the “tendrils, entangles, myriad temporalities and spatialities” of sustainability as politics of queer disobedience. I draws from queer theory to theorize shamed sociality but also touche on stories of educational materialities and dissident intimacies that unfolded during the pandemic to tease out the gentrification of queer theory and to relink the latter with a politics of sustainability as rewildening-and-queering of commoning. I propose a queering of such a commoning through two supplementary moves: (a) reclaiming Aristotle’s “socializing of/in zoe” from reifying readings of zoe as biological life, and (b) making connections between queer theory and forms of dissident affective sociality not claimed as such in their living present. The asynchronous and theoretically aberrant touch on the pandemic as past and the touch of theory on narrativesacross genres follows what Carolyn Dinshaw (1999) calls a "queer historical impulse". The paper's reparative educational impulse is toward making connections across time between disavowing experiences of loss and resilience under the educational diagnostic gaze during the pandemic and capitalizing on learning to be efficiency from the pandemic now.

Author Information
ZELIA GREGORIOU, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2023
Stream: Education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon