Autoethnography and ‘chimeric-thinking’: A phenomenological reconsideration of illness and alterity

Australian Journal of Anthropology 33 (1):34-46 (2022)
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This paper tackles the concept of alterity through an embodied perspective. By questioning my lived experience of cancer and how illness—as a disruptive event (Carel, 2008, 2016, 2021)—enables philosophical reflection and the exploration of ‘other’ ways of being-in-the-world (Merleau-Ponty 2012 [1945]), I ask if an embodied ‘chimeric-thinking’ can be used to question established notions of alterity and reshape our relationship with ‘otherness’ (Leistle 2015, 2016b). Building on a phenomenological approach to illness (Carel 2012, 2014, 2016, 2021), and a feminist post-humanist approach (Haraway 1990, 1991, 2016), I present a case in which an autoethnographic and phenomenological approach focused on embodied experience may help revise dominant perspectives, providing access to understanding and engaging with profound biopsychosocial and somatic transformations.



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Sarah Pini
University of Southern Denmark

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