My PhD thesis is now complete and available online in the University of the Western Cape repository at https://etd.uwc.ac.za/handle/11394/6946
It was, is, and will be an apparatus in which boundary-making practices were and will be made, determined by different agential cuts such as my research questions. The text that is now available online enables more cuts to be enacted by myself and others. I’m delighted that such new relationships with my research have the potential to expand the project beyond the academic product of a doctoral research thesis.
Barad (2007:146) points to 6 significant aspects of apparatuses
1. are specific material-discursive practices
2. produce differences that matter which include boundary-making practices that are formative of matter and meaning, productive of, and part of, the phenomena produced
3. are material configurations/dynamic reconfigurings of the world
4. are themselves phenomena which are constituted and dynamically reconstituted as part of the ongoing intra-activity of the world
5. have no intrinsic boundaries but are open-ended practices
6. are not located in the world but are material reconfigurations or reconfigurings of the world that re(con)figure spatiality and temporality as well as (the traditional notion of) dynamics (i.e. they do not exist as static structures, nor do they merely unfold or evolve in time and space)
In my thesis I argue that medical students’ learning experiences in Obstetrics are crucial in influencing their future practices as doctors. Graduation is not the closing off of undergraduate curricular learning but a cyclical becoming-with past/present/future intra-actions. Although there is a growing body of work describing the detrimental impact of disrespect in maternity care on new mothers and their neonates, little is revealed about the impact on students. I look forward to widening conversations with others in Higher Education taking up the theoretical lens of Feminist New Materialism.
My hope is that such engagements can lead to different material-discursive practices as those described in the research project, which have been silenced through current trends in professional practices where disrespect to women in labour tends to remain hidden, and in some situations, even normalized. It is likely that more questions will arise as a collective relationship develops around those readers interested in exploring students’ response-abilities in Obstetrics and what this means to curricular task teams in health sciences training institutions.
Barad, K. 2007. Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.