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HAS Courses in Hungary

Central European University

Gender, Sexuality, and the Non/Human

Hyaesin Yoon

Feminist and queer theories have constantly challenged the figure of the white, middle-class, able-bodied, and hetero-normative “man” as the universal human subject. This course approaches such construct of “the human” as performative measures for human engagement with the non/human – both non-human others (such as animals and machines) and the others within the human (such as infra-humans and the inhumanity of humans). We will discuss how the human’s relationships with its others are interlaced with the various forms of difference and of power relations, such as sex/gender, sexuality, race, and disability, as well as capitalism and political ecology. However, the course does not adopt the essentialist assumption of shared abjection among women (and other marginalized human groups) and non-human others, but instead interrogates the complex matrix in which these relationships are shaped. In this light, the course explores variety of persistent and emergent subjects such as the (post)human dystopia, Darwin and evolution, technologies of bodies, and artificial intelligence, as well as racial and geopolitical contours of trans-species entanglements. For this purpose, the course invites interdisciplinary conversations with posthumanisms, postcolonial criticisms, critical animal studies, disability studies, and critical ecologies.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will familiarize themselves with the critiques on the assumed concept of the human and the human-centrism, and their implications for gender studies in particular and critical theories in general.
  • Students will practice creative and critical thinking through transdisciplinary conversations among various discourses including feminist theories, queer theories, eco-criticisms, animal studies, critical disability studies, and postcolonial critiques.
  • Students will engage with these theories to re-examine a variety of challenges in the contemporary world, especially those concerning posthuman(ist) phenomena.
  • Students will improve their skills in analytic reading and writing, verbal discussion, and other forms of presentation.
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