Bootstrap Themes

Negotiated Access

Negotiated Access: Haccessibility, Autonomy, and Infrastructure in the Age of the Abstraction is a dissertation and book project that explores how to contend with, and live within, systems over which we have little control.

I defended my PhD dissertation, Negotiated Access: Haccessibility, Autonomy, and Infrastructure in the Age of the Abstraction, in April, 2021. The dissertation received the English program's Alumni and Doctoral Faculty Prize for the Most Distinguished Dissertation of the Year, including a subvention supporting publication. The project had previously received the Milton F. Steinhardt Memorial Fellowship Award for Best Prospectus.

Negotiated Access asks how we can exercise our values from within systems and structures over which we have little control. The project, fundamentally, is about autonomy, a specific form of resistance to control, or the ability to act on values or goals despite influence from outside or above. Negotiation, here, is the ongoing encounter with enclosing or encircling systems, entities, or spaces. It is the gap, the small room for maneuver, between ourselves and the physical or social environment.

The project begins with local and concrete challenges and radiates outward to analyze and critique broader structures, forces, and institutions that universalize and abstract.