How do scientists engage queer feminist methodologies to understand sex and gender in non-human animals? Animal research—including studies of sexual selection, mate choice, and social pairing—has long been used to make inferences about human biology, health, and sociality. Reciprocally, cultural norms infused with political, social, and economic assumptions also influence the ways in which scientists study animals. This team of biologists, social scientists, and humanities scholars investigates how heterosexist ideologies have shaped evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology, as well as how queer and feminist scientists today generate practical and theoretical interventions to unsettle normative canons.
By using “queer nature” as an intellectual starting point, the team aims to re-organize the longstanding whiteness, gender dimorphism, and heteronormativity of Euro-American biological disciplines. They will develop pedagogical tools and interdisciplinary methodologies that address questions of teaching and understanding biology “queerly.” This work includes public-facing material like podcasts, course syllabi, academic programming, and co-authored publications.
Image Credit: Creative Commons via Flick: "Northern Gannets," Bonaventure Island, Andrea Schaffer