The Inappropriable: On Oikology, Care, and Writing Life


This article thinks epistemological and methodological approaches to work (and to ‘work/ life balance’) that take deeply into account the choreographic and temporal shifts, the disruptions, the sideways movements of thought, that come with parenting in an economy in crisis. Obliquely rearticulating the ‘work/life balance’ dyad to better think performative productivity in terms of oikological investments, the article performs another economy of writing and care. Engaged in what I call ‘plastic critique,’ the article moves and morphs as it proceeds through readings of critical texts in the history of thinking governmentality, care of self, home, and ‘contact.’ Not only ‘performative,’ the article also thinks how to enact intimacy within the space of the page, engaging in a method of writing that offers a careful, vulnerable critical praxis. Aware of the current crisis of professional labor in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the article takes a longer view of issues of gender and emotional labor while seeking directly to speak through these challenges from a politically situated perspective: within the interstices between moments of work and play.

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