Matters of Care

Matters of Care

Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds

María Puig de la Bellacasa

Challenging the view that caring is only human..

280 Pages, 6 x 9 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781517900656
  • Published: March 21, 2017
  • Series: Posthumanities
  • eBook
  • 9781452953472
  • Published: March 21, 2017
  • Series: Posthumanities


Matters of Care

Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds

Series: Posthumanities

María Puig de la Bellacasa

ISBN: 9781517900656

Publication date: March 21st, 2017

280 Pages

8 x 5

"Through its observations and appreciations of the worlds in which many forms of care happen, this bold and synthetic book makes two transforming contributions to contemporary theorizing as it subtly invites everyone to appreciate the centrality of posthuman thinking. Feminists and posthumanists can no longer speak past each other: here’s why."—Joan C. Tronto, University of Minnesota

"Aesthetic analyses such as these would carry the potential to generate care within and for the entanglement of relations to which we all belong, a task that Puig de la Bellacasa’s book accomplishes exceptionally well."—Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory

"Matters of Care provides us with a theory of transformative change that is not anchored in violence and bloodshed, but in the everyday occurrences of caring with and for. This is a revolutionary book!"—Hypatia Reviews

"Matters of Care offers a dive into an always-political ethics that is inspired by agricultural practices and the more-than-human beings wrapped up in them."—CENHS

"It offers a serious and thoughtful contribution to debates around the place of politics within posthumanism, connecting a radical openness to human and non-human others with an enduring concern for the excluded and marginal. In doing so it reimagines how we might know the world and places care at the heart of a hybrid practice of knowing, relating to, and sustaining worlds." —Society + Space

"Matters of Care feels at once like a new beginning for ethics and politics in more than human worlds, yet also the logical outcome of many years of work in new materialist and feminist thought. It is a masterfully lucid and challenging theoretical exposition in which a feminist ethic of care is extended through speculation on its limits." —Journal of Cultural Economy

"Her speculative ethics of care joins together “an affective state, a material vital doing, and an ethico-political obligation” (42) to imagine how to live in these worlds. The book draws upon and will be of interest to practitioners of science and technology studies, feminist care ethics, and posthumanism, among others." —ISLE

"Puig de la Bellacasa’s Matters of Care offers a stirring and thoughtful meditation on how to engage in a speculative task and an ethical commitment that brings together humans and more-than-humans." —Tapuya

To care can feel good, or it can feel bad. It can do good, it can oppress. But what is care? A moral obligation? A burden? A joy? Is it only human? In Matters of Care, María Puig de la Bellacasa presents a powerful challenge to conventional notions of care, exploring its significance as an ethical and political obligation for thinking in the more than human worlds of technoscience and naturecultures. 

Matters of Care contests the view that care is something only humans do, and argues for extending to non-humans the consideration of agencies and communities that make the living web of care by considering how care circulates in the natural world. The first of the book’s two parts, “Knowledge Politics,” defines the motivations for expanding the ethico-political meanings of care, focusing on discussions in science and technology that engage with sociotechnical assemblages and objects as lively, politically charged “things.” The second part, “Speculative Ethics in Antiecological Times,” considers everyday ecologies of sustaining and perpetuating life for their potential to transform our entrenched relations to natural worlds as “resources.” 

From the ethics and politics of care to experiential research on care to feminist science and technology studies, Matters of Care is a singular contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary debate that expands agency beyond the human to ask how our understandings of care must shift if we broaden the world.  

María Puig de la Bellacasa is associate professor in science, technology, and organization at the University of Leicester School of Management.

Introduction: The Subtle Thought of Care
Part I. Knowledge Politics
1. Assembling Neglected “Things”
2. Thinking with Care
3. Touching Visions
Part II. Speculative Ethics in Antiecological Times
4. Alterbiopolitics
5. Soil Times: The Pace of Ecological Care