Sexual difference, gender and (microscopic) animals: A commentary on Ebeling's Sexing the Rotifera
2011 (English)In: Society and Animals, ISSN 1063-1119, E-ISSN 1568-5306, Vol. 19, no 3Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Rotifers are surprising little animals. Microscopic in size, yet proliferating almost everywhere, they have astounding survival skills and present both evolutionary biology and feminist theory with thought-provoking challenges. From my perspective, as a scholar in the fields of feminist cultural studies with a special interest in the ontological status of the non-human in science, these rotifers have some truly remarkable features. They proliferate almost everywhere on this globe where there is water – some of them even on the surface of mushrooms and moss, in marine salt water environments, in the temporary pool of water down the street, and in your sink. Yet despite this omnipresence, rotifers have barely made an appearance within the field of Human Animal Studies (HAS), perhaps partly due to their microscopic size. I would like to argue, however, that it is also their genuine difference, to how they embody otherness, that makes them interesting, and makes feminist scholarship potentially useful to HAS.
This interest in the non-human (animal, machine, environment) has translated into a feminist form of “posthumanities”, a programmatic study of what really counts as human within the humanities as well as within the experimental sciences, by various case studies that zoom in on the sexual cultures and natures of social theory, laboratory practice and popular culture as they overlap feed into each other.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers , 2011. Vol. 19, no 3
animal studies, microscopic animals, gender, feminist theory, posthumanities
National CategoryGender Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-66357OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-66357DiVA: diva2:403425