One of the participants made a good point about posthumanism as a Western way of understanding relationality. Coming full circle back to the puffer fish, the discussion shifted towards knowledge not being dependent on just the human-world relationship but broader relationships between all creatures, both animate and inanimate and the act of extending agency to all life allowing us to imagine other modes of literacy.
At this point, another audience member began to share an indigenous perspective of the puffer fish having knowledge in its ecology and place and that knowledge cannot be rendered separately. The puffer fish was actualizing literacy within the ecology of the sand, water and waves to which it belonged. The participant shared that if we wanted to learn more about this indigenous paradigm, that we should read some of Dan Longboat & Joe Sheridan’s writing.
At the end of the session, I realized I was left with more questions than answers and that I really wanted to learn more about posthumanism and new materiality. One of my colleagues reminded me that this was precisely the purpose of the Reading | Thinking | Doing Club that met every third Wednesday at the Research Hub and that I should consider joining the mailing list (rtd-club) for rich discussions on posthumanism and new materiality. But perhaps the lasting question for me is why the puffer fish is able to make such amazing geometric patterns in its ecology without any practice. What I wanted to know is the reasons and potential benefits of how we learn and develop expertise through practice and whether there really is a page that we can take out of how animals behave in informing how we can learn. I guess this will be something I bring up at the next RTD club meeting.