9780823245215

Bestial Traces Race, Sexuality, Animality

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780823245215

  • ISBN10:

    0823245217

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-11-01
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press

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Summary

In contemporary race and sexuality studies, the topic of animality emerges almost exclusively in order to index the dehumanization that makes discrimination possible.Bestial Tracesargues that a more fundamental disavowal of human animality conditions the bestialization of racial and sexual minorities. Hence, when conservative politicians equate homosexuality with bestiality, they betray an anxious effort to deny the animality inherent in all sexuality. Focusing on literary texts by Edgar Allan Poe, Joel Chandler Harris, Richard Wright, Philip Roth, and J. M. Coetzee, together with philosophical texts by Derrida, Heidegger, Agamben, Freud, and Nietzsche, Peterson maintains that the representation of social and political others as animals can be mitigated but never finally abolished. All forms of belonging inevitably exclude some others as "beasts." Though one might argue that absolute political equality and inclusion remain desirable, even if ultimately unattainable, ideals,Bestial Tracesshows that, by maintaining such principles, we exacerbate rather than ameliorate violence because we fail to confront how discrimination and exclusion condition all social relations.

Author Biography

Christopher Peterson is Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney. He is the author of Kindred-Specters: Death, Mourning, and American Affinity.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Aping Apes: Edgar Allan Poe s "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and Richard Wright s Native Sonp. 22
Slavery's Bestiary: Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus Talesp. 50
Autoimmunity and Ante-Racism: Philip RothÆs The Human Stainp. 74
Ashamed of Shame: J. M. CoetzeeÆs Disgracep. 113
Afterwordp. 147
Notesp. 155
Bibliographyp. 183
Indexp. 197
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