On the researcher as parasite

Jean Hillier*, Donna Houston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An Australian reimagining of the Aesop fable of the fox, the flies and the hedgehog introduces critical exploration of spatial planning-related imaginaries whereby practices of settler colonialism and urban expansion have caused disruption and destruction of hundreds of thousands of human and other-than-human lives. The argument is grounded in Serres’ concept of the parasite, questioning what type of parasitic relationship spatial planning has with its more-than-human context. Resetting the coordinates of planning practice through a relational transversal approach is proposed. Transversality is a vehicle of rupture and convergence constituted through events and alliances as temporary resting places in which the agential capacities of humans and other-than-humans are temporarily suspended, so that their relations can be reassembled in a form of inclusive disjunctive synthesis, sensitive to the place and issues involved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlanning Theory
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2024


  • Michel Serres
  • parasite
  • settler-colonialism
  • transversal planning


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