Susan Fraiman deposited Pussy Panic versus Liking Animals: Tracking Gender in Animal Studies on Humanities Commons 8 months, 1 week ago
Pioneering ecofeminist work in animal studies dates back to the 1970s. Yet animal studies remained an idiosyncratic backwater until its 21st-century reinvention as a high-profile area of humanities research. Key to its new cachet is a revamped origin story beginning in 2002 with Jacques Derrida as founding father. In readings of Derrida and leading animal studies theorist Cary Wolfe, I examine the gender politics of animal studies today, especially that affiliated with Wolfe’s formulation of posthumanism. In addition to slighting ecofeminist precedents, this approach distances itself from “liking” animals and from scholarship on gender, sexuality, and race. By contrast, animal studies foremothers Carol Adams and Donna Haraway (despite significant differences) both readily own their debt to feminist thinking as well as their emotional and political commitments to animals.