For Careful Slugs: Caring for Unknowing in CS (Computer Science)

  • with Helen V. Pritchard
  • Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience
  • (2022)

Careful Slugs are metaphors that speculatively care for diverse practices within and alongside Computer Science. In this paper we wonder with CS (Careful Slugs)––the materiality and metaphor that they generate as they encounter computational infrastructures, digital design, and interfaces.

Through queer playfulness and promiscuous metaphorical practice, we propose CS as an opening metaphor for CS (Computer Science) departments where the hardened muscular lines of models and predatory based solutionisms beckon some defensive slime. As those that traverse ever-shifting and undone grounds, CS (Careful Slug) emerges from a critical disability studies perspective. We outline to practice, CS (Careful Slug) is to practice a slow “soft gooey”; to shield using protective mucous layers; to make chemical binds sticky enough to hold in-place inconclusively yet with possibilities of lubricating accountability. We invite you to sink with us into soft gooey worldings of slug-imaginings not to overburden the slug but to speculate how metaphors, might contribute to trans*feminist technoscience, accessibility, and CS (Computer Science) concerns.