(Micro)chimerism and the temporality of life: rethinking the bio-imaginary
posted by Johanna Salmela on 17 April 2019

Welcome to join us for a talk by Margrit Shildrick (PhD), feminist phenomenologist and philosopher working with body 
theory, monster studies, critical disability studies, transplantation, michrochimerism and death, among others. The talk is moderated by Marietta Radomska.

Friday, April 26, 2019, 16–18h 
SOLU Space, Luotsikatu 13


(Micro)chimerism and the temporality of life: rethinking the bio-imaginary
Margrit Shildrick

The recent upsurge of interest in microchimerism figures a co-articulation of biopolitical and bioethical entanglements that underpin both a concern for the putatively temporal thresholds of human life and the very category of bounded human being itself. I want to suggest that micro(chimerism) as a very specific form of somatic multiplicity at the cellular level instantiates a fundamental disordering of spatial boundaries and linear temporality which in turn calls for a further reconceptualization of conventional bioethics. Where the force of an existing postmodernist bioethics has attended to the materiality and viscerality of the body and challenged the meaning of human being, it has not, until recently, critiqued the closed bookends of life and death. Once the teleology of the life course is contested, however, death is no longer an insult to being, but merely one event constituting an ongoing vitalism. I propose an atemporal bioethics of coexistence rather than one of successive existence that is faced always with its own finitude.

Margrit Shildrick, PhD is Guest Professor of Gender and Knowledge Production at Stockholm University, and a Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Her research covers postmodern feminist and cultural theory, bioethics, critical disability studies and body theory. Books include Leaky Bodies and Boundaries (1997), Embodying the Monster (2002) and Dangerous Discourses of Disability, Sexuality and Subjectivity (2009), as well as several edited collections and many journal articles. Most recently, she has been addressing the socio-political and embodied conjunction of microchimerism, immunology, corporeal anomaly and death.


Marietta Radomska, PhD is a feminist philosopher and transdisciplinary Gender Studies scholar. She works as a Postdoc at the Department of Thematic Studies – unit: Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden, within the research area of Gender, Nature, Culture and The Posthumanities Hub. From July 2018 until June 2020 Radomska is also a Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Cultures (Art History), University of Helsinki, Finland. Radomska is a member of the Bioart Society.

All Bioart Society Events have free entry. Welcome!

Image: nobeastsofierce / Shutter Stock