Microbes I Embodiment I Inequalities
'Microbiologies Multiples' takes inspiration from Mol’s ‘the body multiple’ (2002) aiming at capturing the haptic dimension of human–microbe relations. A plural microbiology in which human embodied experiences are a medium through which microbes speak to non-scientists, enabling the formation of ‘healthy publics’ (Hinchliffe et al., 2018), particularly in relation to microbiome research. Here, the human body recedes to the background. Human embodied experiences are like a ventriloquist, letting microbes ‘manifest’, speak up. Hence, rather than attending to perspectives, interpretations, and methods in microbiology, all the projects encapsulated in 'microbiologies multiples' focus on how microbiology is enacted (i.e. produced) differently in various informal settings online/offline (i.e. sharing ad hoc remedies, experiences, narratives) as well as through the physical constraints that the latter bring to the daily life.
A ‘women centred analysis’ (Rapp, 1999, p. 4) is crucial to this proposition because of the historical importance of women’s bodies in accounting for the viscerality of knowledge and the materiality of experience (Federici, 2004; Martin, 2001). For example, in the project on 'feminist para-ethnographies', the de-medicalisation and socialisation of care are the principal elements of biome restoration. In this way, it offers a window of opportunity to remodel the individualistic rhetoric of microbiome science. This involves the re-embodiment of microbes by re-valuing and de-individualising embodied experiences, turning them into shared bodily experiences for the collective good, for the commons. The socialisation of embodied bodily experiences opens up the possibility to disclose silenced forms of inequalities as well as new ways of resisting them.