Uterographesis: A Queer-Feminist Theory of Sexual Reproduction Restricted; Files Only

Kendall, Ryan (Spring 2020)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/9g54xj611?locale=en


This dissertation argues for the significance of sexual reproduction to a queer- feminist theoretic. More specifically, this dissertation analyzes the paradoxical place of sexual reproduction in queer theory in the U.S. academy since the 1990s. Queer theorists frequently mark reproduction as politically normative. Specifically, reproduction is taken to be a heterosexual concern, one that secures a future for conventional family structures. Considering the significant growth of queer families in the U.S. and, relatedly, the rising demands for reproductive technologies by queer couples, there is now a demand to think reproduction and queerness together. Through the use of literary methods and rhetorical analysis, my dissertation redresses the schism between queerness and reproduction in order to better address the political and discursive exigencies of queer reproduction today. Additionally, my dissertation turns to antifoundationalist feminist accounts of reproduction as productive resources for further expanding the scope of queer theories of sexuality.

This dissertation has significance for scholars interested in queer and feminist theory and, more broadly, for interdisciplinary fields of gender studies and sexuality studies. I challenge queer theorists to account for reproduction beyond sexually normative social formations and ask these scholars instead to re-imagine reproduction as a concept capable of contributing to queer theory’s radicalizing force. Working the textual confusion between the vagina, the womb, and the anus to be found in queer, feminist, and fictional texts, this project reorganizes some of the foundations of feminist theories of embodiment, queer theories of time, and racialized studies of sexuality.

Table of Contents

Uterographesis: An Introduction, pp. 1-12.

Chapter One, “That Utterly Confused Category”: Sodomy, Queerness, and Sexual Reproduction, pp. 13-52.

Chapter Two, Black Flesh, Queer Sex: Reading for the Reproductive Body in Sula, pp. 53-88.

Chapter Three, Aborting Reproductive Futurism: Re-scripting Sinthomosexuality Through the Womb, pp. 89-124.

Chapter Four, Killing the Womb: A Redress of Sexual Reproduction’s Queer Narrativity, pp. 125-58.

Coda: Trans* Reproduction, or a Queer-Feminist Theoretic, pp. 159-64. Bibliography, pp. 165-78.

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