Nonhuman nonheteronormativity presents a profound challenge not just to identity forms but more importantly to disciplinary habits of thinking of human subjectivity as the default form of social agency. To elaborate this point, this essay surveys how some recent books, including Roughgarden's Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, Donna Haraway's When Species Meet, Alice A. Kuzniar's Melancholy's Dog, and Jens Rydström's Sinners and Citizens: Bestiality and Homosexuality in Sweeden, 1889-1950, take as their subjects intimacies that belie hetero/homosexual along with non/human binaries. Grounding queer theory in a cross-species continuum is not the overall purpose of any of these texts, but an effect produced through the alignment of these authors' very different examinations of sex relations as shared by social animals. Ranging from the bizarre (fish threesomes) to the raunchy (bestiality in the cowshed), and even more ordinary combinations of both (dogs' dry-humping), the forms of sociality accruing in these discussions lay foundations for new biopolitical (as opposed to disciplinary) knowledges, prompting further inquiry into what happens to all of us when animals do it unlike they do on the Discovery Channel.
Book Review| January 01 2009
Queer (AND) Animal Theories
When Species Meet Donna J. Haraway Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007. 360 pp.; Melancholia's Dog: Reflections on Our Animal Kinship Alice A. Kuzniar Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006. 216 pp.; Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People Joan Roughgarden Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. 474 pp.; Sinners and Citizens: Bestiality and Homosexuality in Sweden, 1889 – 1950 Jens Rydström Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. 432 pp.
GLQ (2009) 15 (1): 153–169.
Susan McHugh; Queer (AND) Animal Theories. GLQ 1 January 2009; 15 (1): 153–169. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-2008-022
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