Fingeryeyes: Impressions of cup corals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


In When Species Meet (2008) Donna Haraway proposes that creatures' identities and affinities emerge through their encounters, their relationships. Following Haraway's lead, I attend to how different species sense and apprehend one another, leaving impressions-concrescences of perceptual data, or texture. This essay reports on fieldwork alongside marine biologists and with a population of cup corals (B. elegans) housed at the Long Marine Laboratory, Santa Cruz, California. While I assisted researchers who were studying metabolic rates and reproductive strategies in coral communities, these cup corals simultaneously taught me that being and sensing are inextricably enfolded. We were variously situated-corals generating generations, me interpretations. We met through a material-semiotic apparatus I call "fingeryeyes." As an act of sensuous manifesting, fingeryeyes offers a queer reading of how making sense and sensual meaning are produced through determinable and permeable species boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-599
Number of pages23
JournalCultural Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal studies
  • Anthropology of the senses
  • Coral
  • Laboratory studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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