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Animal IntimaciesInterspecies Relatedness in India's Central Himalayas$
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Radhika Govindrajan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226559841

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226560045.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

The Bear Who Loved a Woman The Intersection of Queer Desires

The Bear Who Loved a Woman The Intersection of Queer Desires

Chapter:
(p.146) 6 The Bear Who Loved a Woman The Intersection of Queer Desires
Source:
Animal Intimacies
Author(s):

Radhika Govindrajan

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226560045.003.0006

This chapter examines a genre of narratives about black bears who are believed to abduct and have sex with women. The transgressive desires celebrated by women in their accounts of these interspecies sexual encounters call into question not just patriarchal but also anthropocentric hierarchies in which the boundary between humans and nonhumans is drawn on the terrain of desire. What makes this talk about bear-human sex so compelling is the fact that women come to know and relate to these animals differently than men on account of the gendered division of labor involved in creating and sustaining interspecies relationships. The chapter argues that these narratives are attempts to imagine and enact alternate ways of dwelling and connecting in a world where one exists only in relation to a variety of human and nonhuman others.

Keywords:   bestiality, animal folklore, agency and resistance, queer desire, gender and patriarchy

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