Thinking from Fragility

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Fernando Domínguez Rubio


The purpose of this article is to claim the need to re-imagine contemporary ethical and political vocabularies from a radical recognition of―and confrontation with― fragility. More specifically, this article seeks to highlight the importance of cultivating an awareness of those moments when bodies, objects, and the worlds we inhabit begin to crack and reveal their fragility; and the relevance of recovering these moments as spaces from which to open up alternative ways of thinking and imagining. On the one hand, this article will argue for the necessity of thinking from fragility, as an opportunity to rectify the arrogant refusal to think about limits that has characterized much of modern thought, which can be achieved through an attention to practices of care, repair, and maintenance. On the other hand, it will advocate for thinking from these practices as means to cultivate forms of attention to what remains after rupture, and to claim it as a space from where to imagine which ethics and politics are possible beyond collapse.

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How to Cite
Domínguez Rubio, F. (2023). Thinking from Fragility. Diseña, (23), Article.2.
Original articles
Author Biography

Fernando Domínguez Rubio, University of California, San Diego

Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California San Diego. Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. De­gree in Sociology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His research is situated on the margins of sociology, science and te­chnology studies, anthropology, art, design, and architecture. He has written about material culture, art, and urban infrastructures. He is the author of Still Life: Ecologies of the Modern Imagination at the Art Museum (University of Chicago Press, 2020), which was the 2021 recipient of the Mary Douglas Prize, bestowed by the Sociology of Culture Section of the American Sociological Association; the 2021 Winner of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) annual Book Prize; and the 2021 Robert K. Merton Book Award Honorable Mention, bestowed by the Science, Knowledge, and Technology section of the Ame­rican Sociological Association. He is co-editor of The Politics of Knowledge (Routledge 2012). He is currently working on several projects, including an edited volume with Jérôme Denis and Da­vid Pontille, entitled Fragilities: Essays On The Politics, Ethics And Aesthetics Of Maintenance And Repair (MIT Press, forthcoming).


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