“Queer Inhumanisms” from its outset sought to move away from the progressive-temporal and oppositional frames encoded in such terms as posthuman or anti-humanist, and thus also from its own ostensible novelty. Rather, its emphasis was on studying extant or nearby strands of what can be taken as queer inhumanist thought, the identification of which must not depend on either presentist or essentialist or otherwise narrow terms: this work has been thought, and articulated, by so many, and it does a violence to pretend otherwise. Our piece ends with a reflection on the way in which queer inhumanisms do not, therefore, easily congeal into a monolithic politics—but that their presences can be felt in so many, and such different, political contingencies.
Dana Luciano is associate professor of English at Rutgers University, where she teaches courses in queer studies, environmental humanities, and nineteenth-century American literature. Recent work includes “Queer Inhumanisms,” a special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, coedited with Mel Y. Chen (June 2015) and Unsettled States: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies (New York University Press, 2014), coedited with Ivy G. Wilson.
Mel Y. Chen is associate professor of gender and women’s studies and director for the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture at the University of California, Berkeley. Since their 2012 book, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke University Press), Chen’s current project concerns intoxication’s role in the interanimation of race and disability. Elsewhere, Chen has been thinking about and writing on slowness, gesture, inhumanisms, and cognitive disability and method. Chen coedits the “Anima” book series at Duke and is part of a small and sustaining queer-trans of color arts collective in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dana Luciano, Mel Y. Chen; Queer Inhumanisms. GLQ 1 January 2019; 25 (1): 113–117. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-7275600
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