“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, September 15, 2012

After Queer, After Humanism Liveblog 3

Abby Goode, “Meville's Reproductive Waste.”
Gardner treatise on sterility. “The gnawing worm in the bud of happiness.” The threat of reproductive failure. Reproductive narrative as a symptom of the heteronormative character of narrative.
Narrative infertility. Doubt, risk, uncertainty.  Alcott's world of bachelors.
Melville: paradise of bachelors and Tartarus of maids.

Benjamin Bagocius, “Semen Unsexed: Darwin's Queer Pangenesis.”
Nice title!
Darwin: “The belief that it is the function of the spermatozoa to communicate life to the ovule seems a strange one.”
What is the sex of cells? Can we detach gender from sperm and egg?
Pangenesis hypothesis in The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication. Published between Origin of Species and The Descent of Man.
Gender as a force that a nongendered cell does.
Darwin: “it is not the reproductive organs or buds which generate new organisms, but the units of which each individual is composed.”
Essence of male and female is not what distinguishes them: but what brings them into commonality, their bodies' capacity to create what Darwin calls “gemmules.”
“Cells or units of the body increase by self-division or proliferation, retaining the same nature, and they ultimately become converted into the various tissues and substances of the body. But besides this means of increase I assume that the units throw off minute granules which are dispersed throughout the whole system; that these, when supplied with the proper nutriment, multiply by self-division, and are ultimately developed into units like those fro which they were originally derived. These granules may be called gemmules. They are collected from all parts of the system to constitute the sexual elements, and their development in the next generation forms a new being; but they are likewise capable of transmission in a dormant state to future generations and may then be developed. Their development depends on their union with other partially developed or nascent cells which precede them in the regular course of growth...Hence, it is not the reproductive organs or buds which generate new organisms, but the units of which each individual is composed.”
Sexuality as a pancorporeal synchronic sexual force.
Surprisingly Grosz doesn't address this.
incomplete sexualities that span our entire bodies: diversification of anything recognizable as sexual
every body embodies this now rather than in the future
queerness is ontological now
avoiding essentialism and inviting difference and otherness
sperm and egg have a queer relationship: inherent immaturity, constant development, susceptibility to change; what they show when they don't unite is as important as when they do unite.

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