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University of Western Ontario

1. Huebert, David. Species Panic: Interspecies Erotics in Post-1900 American Literature.

Degree: 2018, University of Western Ontario

This project elaborates a concept of “species panic,” a severe and often violently-charged reaction to the notion that one’s privileged species status as a human being is under threat. In this project’s post-1900 American literary archive, species panic is often provoked by nonhuman eros, which provokes and threatens the fantasy of human exceptionalism. Theoretically, this project yokes animal studies and posthumanism (Donna Haraway, Dominic Pettman, Kathy Rudy) with queer theory and critical race studies (Mel Y. Chen, Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, Alexander Weheliye) as its central driving forces. This theoretical backdrop informs my reading of American authors Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Philip K. Dick, Toni Morrison, Linda Hogan, and Joy Harjo. Species Panic is divided into five chapters, each of which organizes around a particular species of nonhuman animal: dogs, bulls, androids, cows, and horses. While this project’s first three chapters deal with the yoked constructions of masculinity and (straight white male) humanity, the fourth and fifth chapter dramatize the unique and different experiences of female authors depicting human-animal erotic relations. What I add to the analysis of animal studies thinkers such as Donna Haraway is a sustained focus on interspecies erotics as a cultural driving force, manifested in the panicked literary case studies I explore. Cumulatively, the texts I analyze show an American literature still threatened by Darwin’s radical intervention in the history of science. In its conclusions, Species Panic reveals a threatened human clinging to the husk of species exceptionalism as the closet of animality looms loudly in the backdrop. What my research reveals is that interspecies eros is a central and under-analyzed component of thinking around nonhuman animals. I do not, however, suggest that rejuvenated attention to interspecies and nonhuman eros will rehabilitate human-nonhuman relations. Instead, I simply suggest that interspecies eros—in all its prickly complexity—must become a central factor in how we think about nonhuman animals. The erotic, this study insists, is a central component of how we interact with, conceive, and construct nonhuman life. But that eros is not an intrinsic source of redemption; interspecies erotics remains complex, multifaceted, and mired in panic.

Subjects/Keywords: American literature; Animal studies; posthumanism; ecocriticism; queer theory; the novel; poetics; Jack London; Ernest Hemingway; Philip K. Dick; Toni Morrison; Linda Hogan; Joy Harjo.; Literature in English, North America

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Huebert, D. (2018). Species Panic: Interspecies Erotics in Post-1900 American Literature. (Thesis). University of Western Ontario. Retrieved from https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5646

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Huebert, David. “Species Panic: Interspecies Erotics in Post-1900 American Literature.” 2018. Thesis, University of Western Ontario. Accessed November 13, 2018. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5646.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Huebert, David. “Species Panic: Interspecies Erotics in Post-1900 American Literature.” 2018. Web. 13 Nov 2018.

Vancouver:

Huebert D. Species Panic: Interspecies Erotics in Post-1900 American Literature. [Internet] [Thesis]. University of Western Ontario; 2018. [cited 2018 Nov 13]. Available from: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5646.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

Huebert D. Species Panic: Interspecies Erotics in Post-1900 American Literature. [Thesis]. University of Western Ontario; 2018. Available from: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5646

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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