pecies-What?: Language and the Que(e)ry of Speciesism

full name / name of organization: 
Jennifer Grubbs/ Lavender Languages
contact email: 

This area focus will address the linguistic intersections between queer theory, speciesism, and critical animal studies. Speciesist language creates and naturalizes the species hierarchy of "human"/"animal." Heteronormative and gender normative language creates and naturalizes the categories of "male"/"female", "straight"/"gay", and "normal"/"queer." Both queer studies and critical animal studies provide inclusive tools for linguists to deconstruct dichotomous thinking. Much anti-speciesist thought is informed by the destabilization that queer theory provides, and queer theory itself would contest the privileged binary construction of human/animal. Yet, there lacks a presence of engagement in linguistics between these two growing theoretical and liberatory movements. Lavender Languages invites scholars and activists from a variety of disciplines and liberation movements to engage in a dialogue between critical animal studies and queer theory. These papers will interrogate roles of language in the species binary and social scripts generated therein using a queer theory approach.

Topics may include:
*the queering of animal bodies
*the language of animality
*veganism as queer practice
*queer linguistic analysis of a direct action commnique
*queering 'activism' through direct action
*anti-speciesist critiques emerging from queer theory
*essentializing the vegan: queering representations
*total liberation as politic
*queer talkback to species-normativity
*a queer analysis of the Animal Liberation Front
*sexual violence in the movement; a queer theory treatise
*a queer investigation of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act
*political repression, gender performance in government surveillance, and the case of Eric McDavid

Submissions can take creative direction with their form; including but not limited to formal papers, poetry and prose, video, and manifestas.
Please contact Jennifer Grubbs at to submit.