This article takes its cue from Timothy Morton’s invitation to think all things in terms of radioactivity. Instead of focusing on objects, however, the author explores radiation in the imagination of animal desire in the nuclear dystopia. Her working hypothesis is that the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone—now an ecological reserve—is paradigmatic or symptomatic, a theater for the complicated libidinal architecture of the kinds of postapocalyptic sites that may in coming years become the primary places for charismatic megafauna to live, and in which conservation becomes the management not just of bodies, populations, or sexual practices but of desire itself.
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