Becoming Zoö-curious

Reading Sexual Differences in the Field of Animal Life


  • Adeline Rother Whitman College



This paper puts forth a new terminology and rationale for thinking about what it calls the zoö-curious gender discourse. Participants in this discourse are rethinking the sexes, sexualities, and sexual practices of human beings by looking closely at the sex lives of animals, especially insects. Within this strange tradition, I locate the insect metaphors of Jacques Derrida and of other French and francophone such as André Gide, Maurice Maeterlinck, and Jules Michelet. The strange erotic entomology of these French-language writers leads me to a reflection on how the sexual differences of animals play into conceptions of the man-animal difference at large.


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Author Biography

Adeline Rother, Whitman College

Adeline Rother is Adjunct Assistant Professor of French and General Studies at Whitman College. In addition to teaching French language and freshman writing, she maintains an ongoing research project on the roles of animals in modern French literature and philosophy, with a special focus on the posthumanist critique of Jacques Derrida. She has previously written on the sacrificial animals (rams and dogs) of Derrida and J.M. Coetzee. Her background in Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies, continues to inform her work.




How to Cite

Rother, Adeline. 2017. “Becoming Zoö-Curious: Reading Sexual Differences in the Field of Animal Life”. Humanimalia 8 (2):87-107.