The life of an XPA-mouse. A posthumanist approach to becoming with humans in laboratory and law
This article is about mice. More specifically about several generations of transgenic mice, XPA-mice, that were born, lived and died in a Dutch laboratory where they were exposed to carcinogens to test if they were more sensitive to these substances than ‘regular’ mice. Taking a posthumanist approach, I analyze the daily lives of these mice as a multispecies choreography. This choreography involves mice, humans and technologies such as cages, performing together to produce ‘the XPA-mouse’ as laboratory mouse. The focus is on daily doings and bodily entanglement, rather than linguistics, making it more inclusive of human bodies, nonhuman animals and materials. However, for the different phrases of this choreography, I do not only discuss what is included but also which moves have been foreclosed, which worlds and accompanying mouse response-abilities have been excluded? This focus on exclusion will show how interspecies power relations both within the lab and within social and legal discourse have greatly constraint the meaning of agency for these particular mice.
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