Queer thinking to date has tended to write off the couple form as foundationally normative. This essay offers a renewed ontology of the couple via an autoethnographic account of human-animal cohabitation: my own coupled raising of a dog. Through a close reading of Deleuze and Guatarri’s infamous dismissal of the pet in A Thousand Plateaus, “Anthropomorphism, Normativity, and the Couple” proposes that the mundane enigma of being in the world as and with an animal affords an opportunity for apprehending the couple as one of the commonest social forms through which the intermeshing of the simultaneously personalizing and impersonalizing fields of sociality and sexuality is registered and negotiated. In order to secure a differently queer critical purchase on the couple formation, the abject figures of animal studies and queer studies — the pet and the couple — are thought unphobically together, thereby instantiating the radical claims of those fields via a posthumanist perspective unbound by conventional claims to identity, agency, and alterity.
ANTHROPOMORPHISM, NORMATIVITY, AND THE COUPLE: A Queer Studies/Human-Animal Studies Mash-Up
Annamarie Jagose is dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney. She is author of Lesbian Utopics (Routledge, 1994), Queer Theory: An Introduction (New York University Press, 1998), Inconsequence: Lesbian Representation and the Logic of Sexual Sequence (Cornell University Press, 2003), and Orgasmology (Duke University Press, 2013) and is also a prize- winning novelist.
Annamarie Jagose; ANTHROPOMORPHISM, NORMATIVITY, AND THE COUPLE: A Queer Studies/Human-Animal Studies Mash-Up. GLQ 1 April 2019; 25 (2): 315–335. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-7367778
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