Authors: Sophie Lewis*,
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Gender, Anthropocene
Keywords: water, reproductivity, care, postgenomics, environmental humanities, multispecies feminism, kinmaking, kinship
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Madison B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
How should we characterize the labors by which relations of 'water' thicken and become 'blood' - that is, kinship? Astrida Neimanis has given us the concept of 'hydrofeminism' with which to think the ethics and politics of 'gestationality' queerly, engaging Indigenous queer knowledges and working-class polymaternalisms. Building on my related concept 'amniotechnics' (a politics of holding water), I propose to take up this feminism-of-wetness as a lens through which to read production, reproduction and destruction of the naturali(ized) nuclear family in (anti)kinship texts (e.g. Araya, 1959, dir. Benacerraf; The Shape of Water, 2018, dir. del Toro). Essentially, my research names and unpacks a genre, in documentary and in speculative fiction, that depicts anthrogenesis (the creation of human beings) as watery and always more-than-human/multspecies work, illuminating my theoretic argument for treating gestationality as a collaborative and immanently militant workplace. The labor of kinning is presently largely co-opted and alienated, yet reveals itself in queer representation to be pregnant with revolutionary potential (including dreams of automation: ectogenesis). I turn to Black and afrofutuist feminism's concept of the 'wake' (Sharpe, 2016) and the oceanic call to 'lose your mother' (Hartman 2006) as well as to xenofeminism (Hester 2018) in seeking to clarify a hydrofeminist amniotechnics' anti-work political reach (Weeks, 2011). In retrieving, from the depoliticizing slurry of the 'Chthulucene' (Haraway 2016), the militant edges of a comradely politics, I proceed in the spirit of early (cyborg) Haraway: "we are planetary fetuses gestating in [gestated by] the amniotic fluvia of of terminal industrialism" (1992:29).