'Marks on bodies' : agential cuts as felt experience

Ardath J. Whynacht


Reflecting upon the notion of 'marked bodies' (Barad, 2007) as a metaphor for violence, the author draws upon their experience on a long-term, arts-based research/creation project with women who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and critically considers the ways in which 'emotion' can be conceptualized as both a territory and an agential force. Lived experience with borderline personality disorder often involves long and repeated periods of suicidal ideation and self- harm, yet these experiences are often misunderstood and framed in  ways that invalidate emotional distress.  The author outlines the ways in which vulnerability as method and radical acceptance of emotional contagion (Brennan, 2004) can foster 'differential responsiveness' (Barad, 2007; 2014) to marks on bodies and allow for the emergence of 'borderline narratives' to emerge and intervene within expert knowledge systems.


Arts-based research; New materialism; Agential realism; Borderline personality disorder; Vulnerable subjects; Self-harm

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.28968/cftt.v4i1.200


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