DE 2: Queering the Non/Human

I chose this reading for my second Direct Engagement because it focuses more closely on what it means to "queer" something, whether that something is human or other. The term other in itself is mentioned in this reading which I find very interesting. What does other mean in terms of queering theory? My understanding of what the authors are examining is anything other than human. This to me is a bit troublesome in itself. But first, I think it is important to look at what the author's mean when they are speaking of queering. One question they pose is what queer theory has to do with the terms human and non/human? To which they answer "It is in this moment of wondering-of wondering about wondering-that queering the non/human begins." If I understand correctly anytime we, and by we I mean the readers of this introduction, ponder or consider an idea or view that deviates from the "norm" we have queered that idea. It goes far beyond just an idea however, it extends to include words, actions, behaviors, sexuality, human bodies, and even reaches to include the non/human. While this type of thinking is refreshing according to the authors, it can also be frustrating when trying to tease apart the meaning of many of the theorists because of their refusal to conform to the rules of vocabulary itself. Especially to an outsider coming in to the realm of queer theory, it certainly can seem like a foreign language. I wonder if this could be considered to be detrimental to the discipline as a whole. If a majority of the population cannot understand what the author's are arguing, can a message ever be delivered? It seems troublesome but at the same time perhaps that is exactly the point if we are talking about queering theory...It makes my brain hurt a little, so let us get back to the issue at hand.
It is said that throughout this book the reader's will see binaries being challenged, binaries such as, "nature/culture, living/dead, beautiful/grotesque, desire/disgust, subject/object, presence/absence, and human/nonhuman." I think that it is difficult to classify human/nonhuman as a binary. If it is classified in this way, it insinuates that there are humans and then there is everything else in the world from vampires to dogs to bacteria. I find this to be a bit implausible. Especially given that there is then another theory presented where a corpse is considered the in-between of the human and inhuman. It is both and neither. While this is an interesting theory I have trouble wrapping my brain around the idea that a dead human being is considered more important than a living breathing "other" whatever that other might be.
I believe that the author's main goals are to expose and introduce the various ways of, and theories behind queering. Throughout the introduction there are several authors and their corresponding theories discussed all of them different. The one thing that they all have in common however, is the idea of moving out of the heteronormative line of thinking and into a more inquisitive realm. I really enjoyed reading this introduction although it took me several times to understand what they were saying and I am sure I missed several points the author's were making. I think overall though I understood the general idea and that is a step in the right direction for me.

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