NEPANTLERAS, WIZARDS, ENOUGH WORLDS, GRACE, AND PERIPHERAL PARTICIPATIONS • “I use the word nepantla to theorize liminality and

to talk about those who facilitate passages between worlds, whom I’ve named nepantleras.” (Anzalduá 2002:1) • “These are what I refer to as ‘wizards’: that is, they are both repositories of local knowledge about the social and technical situations, and simultaneously, they know enough of more than one layer to perform rare cross-layering coordination. By definition, this work is ‘interdisciplinary’….” (Star 1995:107) • “I guess I’d locate my hope in being part of enough different worlds simultaneously. . . . I’ve tried to model a way of being in this kind of an organization that makes sense to me. It makes sense to me in the ways that it’s been formed by all these other worlds that I’m part of.” (Suchman & Scharmer 1999) • "Differential consciousness requires grace, flexibility, and strength: enough strength to confidently commit to a well-defined structure of identity for one hour, day, week, month, year; enough flexibility to self-consciously transform that identity according to the requisites of another oppositional ideological tactic if readings of power's formation require it; enough grace to recognize alliance with others committed to egalitarian social relations and race, gender, sex, class, and social justice, when these other readings of power call for alternative oppositional stands." (Sandoval 2000: 60) • “People often cannot see what they take for granted until they encounter someone who does not take it for granted.” (Bowker and Star 1999:305) Anzaldúa, G. 2002. “(Un)natural bridges.” In eds. Anzaldúa, G. & Keating, A. this bridge we call home, pp. 1-5. Routledge. Bowker, G.C., & Star, S.L. 1999. Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. MIT. Sandoval, C. 2000. Methodology of the oppressed. Minnesota. Star, S.L. 2010. “This is Not a Boundary Object.” Science, Technology & Human Values, 35/5: 601-617. Suchman, L. & Scharmer, C.O. 1999. “I have, more than ever, a sense of the immovability of these institutions.”

• • • • •


BOUNDARY OBJECTS A tool for understanding how, for example, it is that some words mean very different things for different people: they are working as BOUNDARY OBJECTS. That such terms jump around in meaning as boundary objects allows them to keep differences and boundaries from getting in the way of feminists working together. This usually happens without everyone being especially aware of what is happening. These jumps of meaning allow groups to work cooperatively, so boundary objects do not make boundaries but rather keep boundaries from getting in the way.

=From Bowker, Geoffrey C., and Susan Leigh Star. 1999. Sorting things out: classification and its consequences. Cambridge: MIT. "Boundary objects are those objects that both inhabit several communities of practice and satisfy the informational requirements of each of them…plastic enough to adapt to local needs and constraints…yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites. They are weakly structured in common use and become strongly structured in individual-site use. These objects may be abstract or concrete…. The creation and management of boundary objects is a key process in developing and maintaining coherence across intersecting communities…. [They] arise over time from durable cooperation among communities of practice…." (297) =From Star, Susan Leigh. 2010. This is Not a Boundary Object: Reflections on the Origin of a Concept. Science, Technology & Human Values 35 (5):601-617. “organic infrastructures” that address “‘information and work requirements’ as perceived locally and by groups that wish to cooperate.” (610) Over time for both good reasons and not-so-good ones, the pressure to make all the differences into something standard across the different ways of using these terms or boundary objects, gets stronger. Then the reasons that they were different get lost, and new boundary objects have to be created to allow for ways that the standard form cannot accommodate all the needs of all the groups cooperating. “A final question concerning the boundaries of boundary objects concerns their origin, development, and, sometimes, death and failure. I believe that this concerns three dimensions: standards, methods, and residual categories…. Over time, people (often administrators or regulatory agencies) try to control the tacking back-and-forth [between differences between how used generally and used specifically], and especially, to standardize and make equivalent … [shared vs. local] aspects of the particular boundary object…. Over time, all standardized systems throw off or generate residual categories. These are categories that include ‘‘not elsewhere categorized,’’ ‘‘none of the above,’’ or ‘‘not otherwise specified.’’ As these categories become inhabited by outsiders or others, those within may begin to start other boundary objects…and a cycle is born. One of the things that I have become aware of in trying to capture this complex and longitudinal phenomenon is the need for new methods for capturing each aspect, including the nature of the back-and-forth… and especially the movement within and from those inhabiting residual categories, and how they form new boundary objects.” (613-4)