Deleuze and Collaborative Writing

This book by Jonathan Wyatt, Ken Gale, Susanne Gannon and Bronwyn Davies is an engagement with Gilles Deleuze and collaborative writing. We ask here: how might we think of collaborative writing if we think with the concepts that Deleuze has generated? And, how might we begin to write, together, on what Deleuze would call an immanent plane of composition? On such a Deleuzian plane, or plateau, it was not appropriate to make Deleuze external to us, as if he were the authority who might inform us on the correct way forward. Instead we sought to make Deleuze one of us, and to open up, with him, a new stream of thought, and of being, in order to explore our topic of Deleuze and collaborative writing.

So why an immanent plane of composition? Immanence derives from the Latin, meaning “to remain within”. In Deleuzian philosophy this does not mean within the bounded individual self, but within life; not just human life, but all life, organic and inorganic, which Deleuze refers to as Being. Deleuzian immanence indicates a conceptual space in which one seeks to dissolve all binaries, and the categorizations that divide one from another; and to locate the Divine in all things. On this immanent plane God and matter are not separable, any more than mind and body, interior and exterior, self and other, theory and practice, man and animal, organic and inorganic. The question is never this or that, but always this and that. “Or” becomes “and” in what Deleuze called stuttering: and and and. Deleuze struggled to find a way of bringing together this idea that we are all part of the same Being, and at the same time, that we are multiple and emergent. In opposing binary thought and categorisation, he was not interested in making us all the same, but in finding how to think the multiple singularities within what he called the One-All: “A single and same voice for the whole thousand-voiced multiple, a single and same Ocean for all the drops, a single clamour of Being for all beings” (Deleuze, 1994: 304).

On the immanent plane of composition we are all part of the same Being and, at the same time, the interesting aspect, the creative life-giving aspect, does not lie in sameness but in divergence. Deleuze drew from the creative evolution that Bergson (1998) had mapped out in 1910, where creative affirmations lie in new experiences, through which the not-yet-known, the not-yet-imagined, can unfold—can be composed. Divergence is not to be thought as a feature of the individual of phenomenology, whose conscious intentions lie at the centre of a somewhat narcissistic, bounded ego (Davies, 2010a). Deleuze is interested in multiplicity, not of multiple identities, but in an “ontology [that] merges with the univocity of Being” (Deleuze, 2004c: 179), where univocity is the creative voice of matter.

Deleuze does not thus seek to populate the world with anarchic, sovereign individuals, whose will or choice is paramount, as many have thought. His concept of the automaton, for example, “strictly precludes any idea of ourselves as being, at any time, the source of what we think or do. Everything always stems from afar—indeed, everything is always “already-there,” in the infinite and inhuman resource of the One” (Badiou, 2000: 12). Thinking and being on a plane of immanence in the Deleuzian sense is not a celebration of the autonomous individual of phenomenology, but rather, it “requires that you place yourself where thought has already started, as close as possible to a singular case and to the movement of thought. Thinking happens “behind your back” and you are impelled and constrained by it” (Badiou, 2000: 14).

Our challenge, then, in writing on an immanent plane of composition with Deleuze, has been to find our own way of mobilizing this resource of the One, of thinking and being where thought has already started – in this case thought about Deleuze and collaborative writing. But unlike Deleuze, who, as philosopher, could identify the multiplication of concepts as his way of approaching the problem of infinite divergence and creative evolution, we, as social scientists and educators, must find our own way of engaging in thought, and our own way of engaging in being, that opens up the not-yet-known within itself. We must work with experience, multiplying it, while also drawing on, or, more correctly, playing with Deleuze’s multiplicity of concepts. 

New Lives in an Old Land

New lives in an old land.

Re-turning to the colonization of New South Wales through stories of my parents and their ancestors.

Bronwyn Davies

 Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus Books 2019

Forthcoming with Brill 2021


 Part 1: Picking at the skin of silence: stories of my parents and grandparents

Part 2: Of princes, paupers and soldiers: stories of my father's family

Part 3: Od judges and surveyors, sailors and soldiers, convicts and farmers: stories of my mother's family


This book is an engagement with the history of colonization of New South Wales. This is not history in its traditional sense, but the past brought to life through cameo portraits of people who were my ancestors. As well as individual portraits I explore some of the events they lived through. I am interested in the places they came from and where they came to, in the times they lived in, and what was made to matter in those places and times. I draw on the concept of spacetimemattering, since places and times and what matters are inextricably tied to, or entangled with, each other. of colonization.

The portraits are of generations of those of my family members who migrated to New South Wales between 1788 and 1870. The thread that links the various stories together is genealogical insofar as the stories are, for the most part, drawn from my own family. On the assumption that colonization itself cannot be understood without understanding what went before, the stories that are told begin with lives prior to colonization. The stories prior to and post migration are brought to life through the fragments my family members left behind, such as letters and diaries and images of themselves, through historical documents, and through their connection to my own and my parents’ lives. The book situates itself in the land as it was in 1788 and as the land became post-colonization. It weaves together questions of politics, of history, of ecology, but it is not weighed down by those questions, since the literary approach to storytelling rests on the vividness of the lives through which these questions are opened up. The stories carry the reader with them, opening the possibility of new understandings of the present and the future through this re-visiting of past lives and the ways in which the act of colonization was made to make sense. The ethical aim of this book is not to praise or blame my ancestors for their actions, but to transport the reader into those past times, in such a way that they can re-think and re-animate their response-ability in the present.





Dav      Davies, B. (2023). Aelfraeda and the Red City. Sydney: Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus Press. Available on this website


             Davies, B. and Speedy, J. (2024). The Arts of Living in a More-than-human World. New York: DIO Press. See:


     Davies, B. (2021) Entanglement in the World’s Becoming and The Doing of New Materialist Inquiry. London: Routledge.


     Davies, B. (2019) New Lives in an Old Land. Re-turning to the Colonization of New South Wales through the Stories of my Parents and their Ancestors. Sydney: Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus Press. Re-published 2021 with Brill

     Davies, B. (2014) Listening to Children. Being and Becoming. London: Routledge.

     Davies, B. (2014) The Fairy Who Wouldn’t Fly. Canberra: National Library of Australia.

Somerville, M., Davies, B., Power, K., Gannon, S., and de Carteret, P. (2011) Place Pedagogy and Change. Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Wyatt, J., Gale, K., Gannon, S. and Davies, B. (2011) Deleuze and collaborative writing: An immanent plane of composition. (pp. 1-162) New York: Peter Lang

Davies, B. and Gannon, S. (2009) Pedagogical Encounters (pp. 1-162). New York: Peter Lang

Davies, B. (Ed.). (2008) Judith Butler in Conversation: Analysing the texts and talk of everyday life. (1-273). New York: Routledge.

Davies, B. & Gannon, S. (2006) Doing Collective Biography (pp. 1-200). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Davies, B. & Kasama, H. (2004) Gender in Japanese Preschools. Frogs and Snails and Feminist Tales in Japan (pp. 1-145). NJ: Cresskill, Hampton Press.

Davies, B. (2000) A Body of Writing 1989-1999 (pp. 1-191). Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press. 

Chapter 5, Women's Subjectivity and Feminist Stories is translated as Kvinders subjektivitet og feministiske fortællinger. In Søndergaard, Dorte Marie (2007): Feministiske Tænkere. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag. (179-207) 

Davies, B. (2000) (In)scribing Body/landscape Relations (pp. 1-277). Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press. 

Davies, B. (1996) Power/Knowledge/Desire: Changing School Organisation and Management Practices (pp. 1-259). Canberra: Department of Employment, Education and Youth Affairs. 

Davies, B. (1995) Gender bias in School Textbooks (pp. 1-95). London: Commonwealth Secretariat.

Davies, B. (1994) Poststructuralist Theory and Classroom Practice (pp. 1-127). Geelong: Deakin University Press. 

Davies, B. (1993) Shards of Glass. Children Reading and Writing Beyond Gendered Identities. Sydney (pp. 1-205). Sydney: Allen and Unwin.  2nd Edition (2003) NJ Cresskill: Hampton Press.         

Davies, B. (1989) Frogs and Snails and Feminist Tales. Preschool Children and Gender (pp. 1-152). Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 2nd Edition (2003) NJ Cresskill: Hampton Press.

    Chapter 1 translated intoHindi (2010) vol 1 of the Gender and Education Reader Vol 1, Nirantar Trust, New Delhi, 2006-229.

       Translated into Swedish by Christer Wallentin (2003), Hur flickor och pojkar goÖr kÖn.

                                         Stockholm, Liber (pp. 1-228).

       Translated into German by Das Argument (1992): Frosche und Schlangen und Feministiche

                                         Marchen . Zeitschrift fur Philosophie und Sozialwissenschaften (pp. 1-187).

      Translated into Spanish by Ediciones Cátedra (1994): Sapos y culebras y Cuentos

                                         feministas. Universitat de Valencia, Instituto de la Mujer (pp. 1-256)

       Chapter 1 translated into Swedish by Tilda Maria Forselius, Bli pojke? Bli flicka? Locus. 3/97, 17-31.

                  Received the Outstanding Book Award from the American Education Association.

                  Reprinted in part in S. Scott & S. Jackson (Eds) Gender: A Reader. London, Routledge


Davies, B. (1988). Gender, Equity and Early Childhood (pp. 1-42). Curriculum Development Centre: Canberra, Schools Commission. 

Davies, B. (1982). Life in the Classroom and Playground. The Accounts of Primary School Children (pp. 1-206). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. (Published in the Social Worlds of Childhood series, edited by Rom Harré). Reissued 2017 as part of the Routledge Library Editions: Sociology of Education