â€˜Binary and absolute differencesâ€™ are â€˜exploitativeâ€™
A feminist academic affiliated with the University of Arizona has invented a new theory of â€œintersectional quantum physics,â€ and told the world about it in a journal published by Duke University Press.
Whitney Stark argues in support of â€œcombining intersectionality and quantum physicsâ€ to better understand â€œmarginalized peopleâ€ and to create â€œsafer spacesâ€ for them, in the latest issue of The Minnesota Review.
Because traditional quantum physics theory has influenced humanityâ€™s understanding of the world, it has also helped lend credence to the ongoing regime of racism, sexism and classism that hurts minorities, Stark writes in â€œAssembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities.â€
A researcher in culture and gender studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Stark also holds an appointment in womenâ€™s and gender studies at the University of Arizona through its Institute for LGBT Studies.
She is a member of the Somatechnics Research Network, hosted by UA, whose scholars â€œreflect on the mutual inextricability of embodiment and technology.â€
Stark identifies Newtonian physics as one of the main culprits behind oppression. â€œNewtonian physics,â€ she writes, has â€œseparated beingsâ€ based on their â€œbinary and absolute differences.â€
â€œThis structural thinking of individualized separatism with binary and absolute differences as the basis for how the universe works is embedded in many structures of classification,â€ according to Stark.
These structures of classification, such as male/female, or living/non-living, are â€œhierarchical and exploitativeâ€ and are thusly â€œpart of the apparatus that enables oppression.â€
Therefore, Stark argues in favor of combining intersectionality and quantum physics theory to fight against the imperative to classify people based on hierarchical categories.