Pathology: A Diffractive Encounter of Machine/Body


  • Jessica Smartt Gullion Texas Woman's University



diffraction, poetic inquiry, art journaling, rhizomes, surgery, endometriosis


I’ve been thinking about poems and about college as rhizomes (Deleuze and Guattari 1987), and as diffractive techniques (Barad 2007; Gullion 2018) for thinking about the social world. This project emerged as a way for me to understand my embodied experience of abdominal surgery. I began with the creation of an art journal, and then wrote a poem to accompany the images. I created the images and the text while thinking about my experience of undergoing surgery and diffracting that through Haraway’s (2016) ideas about cybernetics and machine bodies.

Author Biography

Jessica Smartt Gullion, Texas Woman's University

Jessica Smartt Gullion, PhD, is Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean for Research for the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Woman’s University. She is the author of more than thirty peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, appearing in outlets such as Qualitative Inquiry, the International Review of Qualitative Research, and the Journal of Applied Social Science. Her latest books include Diffractive Ethnography and Writing Ethnography.


Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Barad, Karen. 2014. “Diffracting Diffraction: Cutting Together-Apart.” Parallax 20(3):168-187.

Delueze, Giles and Felix Guattari. 1987. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by B. Massumi. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Gullion, Jessica Smartt. 2018. Diffractive Ethnography: Social Sciences and the Ontological Turn. London: Routledge.

Gullion, Jessica Smartt and Ariel Cooksey. 2103. “Social Representations of Motherhood through the Practice of Art Journaling.” Pp 119-132 in Mothering and Literacies, edited by A. B. Richey and L. Shuford Evans. Bradford, ON: Demeter Press.

Haraway, Donna J. 2016. Manifestly Haraway. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.




How to Cite

Gullion, J. S. (2019). Pathology: A Diffractive Encounter of Machine/Body. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 4(1), 312–321.