PhD Defense Filippo Bertoni

Mar '16

Invitation to PhD Defense

“Living with Worms – On the earthly togetherness of eating”

by Filippo Bertoni


Friday, March 11, 14.00 – 15.30 h.


Agnietenkapel, Universiteit van Amsterdam

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 229-331, Amsterdam


*Please be on time! The doors will close at 14.00 sharp. Children younger than 8 are not allowed to attend.

Reception follows in café de Sluyswacht.


If you have any questions, you may contact the paranymphs:

Else Vogel:

Swasti Mishra:



Living with Worms – On the earthly togetherness of eating 

How to live together in times of ecological change? Asking this question has become increasingly urgent, but it begs that we rethink the articulations of nature, politics and science. To do so, here I focus on the theories and practices of eating in ecological sciences involving earthworms. This apparently mundane focus has two main advantages. Firstly, attending to earthworms opens up collectives that are not carved along received Western categories but rather assembled in a variety of motley ways, through different practices and to a number of noncoherent ends. This challenges who the collective ’we’ that lives together should be. Secondly, focusing on eating is particularly generative to think about togetherness: if various ways of imagining and doing togetherness exist, it is also true that some of them are more hegemonic than others. Eating is usually a marginalized repertoire in the West and its theorization and practices. But in ecology eating enjoys a crucial role, and attending to the work of scientists interested in earthworms reveals some of the possibilities opened up by thinking togetherness through eating. Rather than just being a counterfactual reflection on Western science and practice, this exercise is grounded in situated cases and their specific questions. Still, amplifying the possibilities and insights gained through those cases – and juxtaposing them in a broader experiment on togetherness and the rearticulation of nature, politics and science – this thesis also offers an investigation on the politics of nature and togetherness in a time of environmental, social and economic crisis.