A lecture at New York University by Professor Carla Freccero.
Both animal studies and queer theory share theoretical inheritances, even as they diverge in some of their philosophical and political commitments. This talk assesses the (non-exclusive) reciprocal impact of animal studies and queer theory. In particular Freccero is interested in how subjectivity and one of its privileged analytics, psychoanalysis, can be understood to be queer animal theory insofar as psychoanalysis has, since its inception, concerned itself with how mammals become human through specific technologies of subject-formation without assuming the successful result of such a process in advance. Psychoanalysis is always already queer in that it does not presume a pre-existing model of sexuality and gender from which to extrapolate a normative outcome. Likewise, Freccero argues, psychoanalysis does not presume “the human” as its starting point for analyzing how adult human subjectivity is achieved. This latter contention will occupy the bulk of Freccero’s argument as she experimentally sketches the possibility of non-anthropocentric theories of the specificity of animal subjectivity, all the while seeking to de-reify and de-universalize the presumed generality of such terms as “the animal” and “the human.”
Live Video feed will be available from the NYU Department of Performance Studies Facebook page here.