This issue features a group of leading theorists from multiple disciplines who decenter the human in queer theory, exploring what it means to treat “the human” as simply one of many elements in a queer critical assemblage. Contributors examine the queer dimensions of recent moves to think apart from or beyond the human in affect theory, disability studies, critical race theory, animal studies, science studies, ecocriticism, and other new materialisms. Essay topics include race, fabulation, and ecology; parasitology, humans, and mosquitoes; the racialization of advocacy for pit bulls; and queer kinship in Korean films when humans become indistinguishable from weapons. The contributors argue that a nonhuman critical turn in queer theory can and should refocus the field’s founding attention to social structures of dehumanization and oppression. They find new critical energies that allow considerations of justice to operate alongside and through their questioning of the human-nonhuman boundary.
Mel Y. Chen, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, also published by Duke University Press. Dana Luciano is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University. She is the author of Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America and editor, with Ivy G. Wilson, of Unsettled States: Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies.
Contributors: Neel Ahuja, Karen Barad, Jayna Brown, Mel Y. Chen, Jack Halberstam, Jinthana Haritaworn, Myra Hird, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Eileen Joy, Eunjung Kim, Dana Luciano, Uri McMillan, José Esteban Muñoz, Tavia Nyong’o, Jasbir K. Puar, Susan Stryker, Kimberly Tallbear, Jeanne Vaccaro, Harlan Weaver, Jami Weinstein