Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning

Vita Peacock


Barad raises the curtain with a play, the recently dramatized encounter between two German quantum physicists, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in 1941, an historical event of which of which little is known. The scientists discuss the possible development of a German atom bomb. Having previously been close, thereafter the two part company. Opening her substantial monograph with a lengthy critique of the play crystallizes Barad’s intentions, and reveals her strongest card. Science, even, (perhaps especially) that of the most microscopic kind, quantum physics, which explores the world at the level of the atomic, may have geopolitical, ethical, and historical implications. The practice of science is shaped by what is deemed to matter, at any given time. Reaching willingly into another domain, in this case the world of art, foreshadows the greatest merit of the book, the ease with which Barad dances across disciplinary boundaries with a trickster-like fluidity. In style and content the introduction supports her two-pronged agenda, a novel theory of scientific objects, as well as a novel theory of science-as-object.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.