30 April: 

Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds

By María Puig de la Bellacasa (2017)

28 May: 

Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure

by Eli Clare (2017)

25 June: 

What Comes After Entanglement? Activism, Anthropocentrism, and an Ethics of Exclusion*

by Eva Haifa Giraud (2019)

30 July: 

In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism

by Isabelle Stengers (2015)

27 August: 

Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (2013) by Kim TallBear

24 September: 

Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics

by Lundy Braun (2014)

29 October: 

Microbes and Other Shamanic Beings

by César E. Giraldo Herrera (2018)


26 November: 

The Economization of Life* 

by Michelle Murphy (2017)

* Asterisk indicates that the text will be read in its entirety (May & November). All other months will have specific chapters assigned. 

All PDFs can be found and downloaded at:



Brilliant Imperfection:

Grappling with a Cure

By Eli Clare


DATE: 28 May 2020 


VENUE: Due to the current COVID-19 situation all upcoming meetings will occur online, via Zoom. Please email 

ziha2281@uni.sydney.edu.au if you'd like to join/for further instructions

What sort of power does diagnosis wield? How does it introduce curative technologies into the lives of the sick? What is it to have one's life and worth defined by the possibility of a cure? 


In Brilliant Imperfection Eli Clare uses memoir, history, and critical analysis to explore cure—the deeply held belief that body-minds considered broken need to be fixed. Cure serves many purposes. It saves lives, manipulates lives, and prioritizes some lives over others. It provides comfort, makes profits, justifies violence, and promises resolution to body-mind loss.


Clare grapples with this knot of contradictions, maintaining that neither an anti-cure politics nor a pro-cure worldview can account for the messy, complex relationships we have with our body-minds. The stories he tells range widely, stretching from disability stereotypes to weight loss surgery, gender transition to skin lightening creams. At each turn, Clare weaves race, disability, sexuality, class, and gender together, insisting on the nonnegotiable value of body-mind difference.


Into this mix, he adds environmental politics, thinking about ecosystem loss and restoration as a way of delving more deeply into cure. Ultimately Brilliant Imperfection reveals cure to be an ideology grounded in the twin notions of normal and natural, slippery and powerful, necessary and damaging all at the same time.


Eli Clare is a poet, essayist, activist, and the author of Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, also published by Duke University Press, and The Marrow's Telling: Words in Motion. He speaks regularly at conferences, community events, and colleges across the United States and Canada about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice, and his writing has appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies. Clare lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and can be found online at www.eliclare.com.




Towards ​a communal laboratory, a hopeful method:

Run by the Biopolitics of Science Research Network, LABTALK is a reading group dedicated to extending the laboratory into a wider landscape of inter-, and intra-, action.


Each month, multiple worlds will rub alongside each-other, with the group exploring issues of biological engineering; the cultural work of commensuration; patterns of techno-scientific exclusion; as well as various conceptual snapping points. The group is open to cross-disciplinary scholars, students and members of the public. 


Held on the land of the Gadigal People, of the Eora Nation. Sovereignty has never been ceded.

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© Compiled by Zsuzsanna Dominika Ihar for BoS

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