Stephen Allen (University of Hull)
Paper short abstract:
To imagine meanings of being (post)human Quaker practices have received some attention, for their 'fluidity', and embracing 'unknowing'. From participating in Quaker meetings and interviews, I explore how authority and power can become reconfigured when organising in a relational world.
Paper long abstract:
The Anthropocene is suggested to mark the end of ideas about a nature/culture divide (Zalasiewicz, Williams, Steffen, & Crutzen, 2010), which brings with it significant questions about how we can understand ourselves going on, or meeting, together (Latour, 2013). To imagine meanings of being (post)human Quaker practices have received some attention, as their 'fluidity' could bring possibilities to engage in the often elusive and diffuse character of knowing (Law & Mol, 2003), and also offer images of collective becoming which embrace 'inevitable unknowing' in a relational world (Allen, 2017). However, how might ideas of authority and power become reconfigured amongst the Quakers often silent searching for how to flow-on together? From analysis of interviews with twenty Quakers across Meetings in the North of England, and participating in Quaker meetings, I suggest some emergent themes which could help to develop appreciations of possibilities for, and disruptions to, organising unknowing.
Exploring relations of authority