Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (xxi, 213 pages)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Eric Keenaghan

Committee Members

jil hanifan, Tomas Noel, Laura Wilder


Djuna Barnes, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, poetry, posthumanism, queer theory, Queer theory, Speciesism, Animals

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies


"Queer Creatures, Queer Times" makes a critical intervention in queer theory and queer poetics through a combination of critical and creative approaches to explore how posthumanist thought and animal studies might correct a blindspot in current critical work on queer experience and texts. Queer theory tends to neglect non/human subjects, yet an ecological and posthumanist critique helps to trouble its humanist bias as well as its overly neat ties to constructivist and performative notions of selfhood. I argue that modern lyric poetry, in emergence during the cultural transmission of Darwinian precepts and the social invention of the homosexual, is uniquely situated to challenge the exclusivist principles that underlie specieisim, Social Darwinism, and heterosexism. While queer theory tends to overlook evolution in the construction of subjectivity and sexuality, I posit that such tendencies diminish opportunities for thinking through non-coherent selfhood and the radical contingency of beings upon other life forms. Accompanying my critical essays on three modernist queer poets, Djuna Barnes, Elizabeth Bishop, and Marianne Moore, are my poetics essay entitled "Towards a Poetics of the Animal" and my poetry manuscript "Queer Fish". Both poetic texts explore non-dominant forms of queer relation between animals and humans.