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(The promise of) Monstrous Kinship? Queer Reproduction and the Somatechnics of Sexual and Racial Difference

(The promise of) Monstrous Kinship? Queer Reproduction and the Somatechnics of Sexual and Racial... This article considers the figure of the monster and monstrosity as a phenomenon as an entangled effect of kinship and reproduction, and thus as conveying specific understandings of gender, sexuality and race. While non-heterosexual reproduction and family-making has long been viewed as monstrous, increasing LGBTQ rights and recognition has instead insisted on its normality. Engaging with feminist and queer monster theory, and building on ethnographic research in Stockholm, Sweden, this article considers the monstrous remains within contemporary queer kinship. In particular, it proposes that when choice and intent rather than biological ‘facts’ constitute the foundation of (queer) family, sexual and racial difference does not cease to exist, but rather, re-emerges as monstrous attachments and embodiments. To sketch a larger argument about the potential limits of ideas about social construction, the article hones in on two examples. First, it shows that gestation and childbirth, as monstrous embodiments, can pose problems for families that insist on parental equality through the perceived sameness of shared intent. Secondly it proposes that in the context of Sweden, reproduction through donor-insemination is built on a cultural idea of white sperm as both neutral and desirable. These examples, the article suggest, point to some remaining irreconcilable dimensions embedded in the fantasy of queer kinship that, like monsters, haunt its queer normative forms. In closing, it argues for a reconsideration of hopeful monstrosities by considering both queer reproduction and the sexual and racial differences with which it inevitably engages can instead be understood as somatechnical, as kinship technologies that are inevitably entangled in the biopolitics of (queer) nation-making and its natrualised whiteness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Somatechnics Edinburgh University Press

(The promise of) Monstrous Kinship? Queer Reproduction and the Somatechnics of Sexual and Racial Difference

Somatechnics , Volume 8 (2): 17 – Sep 1, 2018

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2044-0138
eISSN
2044-0146
DOI
10.3366/soma.2018.0250
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article considers the figure of the monster and monstrosity as a phenomenon as an entangled effect of kinship and reproduction, and thus as conveying specific understandings of gender, sexuality and race. While non-heterosexual reproduction and family-making has long been viewed as monstrous, increasing LGBTQ rights and recognition has instead insisted on its normality. Engaging with feminist and queer monster theory, and building on ethnographic research in Stockholm, Sweden, this article considers the monstrous remains within contemporary queer kinship. In particular, it proposes that when choice and intent rather than biological ‘facts’ constitute the foundation of (queer) family, sexual and racial difference does not cease to exist, but rather, re-emerges as monstrous attachments and embodiments. To sketch a larger argument about the potential limits of ideas about social construction, the article hones in on two examples. First, it shows that gestation and childbirth, as monstrous embodiments, can pose problems for families that insist on parental equality through the perceived sameness of shared intent. Secondly it proposes that in the context of Sweden, reproduction through donor-insemination is built on a cultural idea of white sperm as both neutral and desirable. These examples, the article suggest, point to some remaining irreconcilable dimensions embedded in the fantasy of queer kinship that, like monsters, haunt its queer normative forms. In closing, it argues for a reconsideration of hopeful monstrosities by considering both queer reproduction and the sexual and racial differences with which it inevitably engages can instead be understood as somatechnical, as kinship technologies that are inevitably entangled in the biopolitics of (queer) nation-making and its natrualised whiteness.

Journal

SomatechnicsEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2018

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