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Technoscience and Affected Bodies

Andrea Quinlan


Technoscientific objects are commonly cast as distant and unfelt by the researchers who study them. How technoscientific objects can act on researchers bodies is rarely explored. This paper reflects on a feminist technoscience study on the Canadian Sexual Assault Evidence Kit (SAEK), a forensic tool used to document survivors’ physical injuries and identify perpetrators of sexual assault. By examining the process of researching the SAEK’s forty-year history, this paper considers how empirical objects can get under researchers’ skin and be felt through and in their bodies. In doing so, this paper examines intersections between affect and technoscience and explores how affected bodies can be useful ‘detectors’ of technoscientific relations and methodological resources for studying technoscience. It proposes that embodied responses to technoscientific objects can deepen understandings of not only the objects themselves, but of the world(s) of relations in which they operate. Artistic rendering is proposed as a methodological strategy for capturing affect in feminist technoscience studies.



Affect; Sexual Assault Evidence Kit; Violence Against Women; Feminist Technoscience Studies

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