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Traces of a Half-Forgotten Dog: Suffering and Animal Humanity in Hélène Cixous’ Algerian Scenes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Ethics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6768-5292
2017 (English)In: Literature & Theology, ISSN 0269-1205, E-ISSN 1477-4623, Vol. 31, no 4Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

The article examines the place of animal humanity in Hélène Cixous’ work. Taking Rêveries de la Femme Sauvage and her writings on Algeria published in Stigmata: Escaping Texts as a starting point, especially the figure of Fips, the dog of the Cixous family in Oran. By thinking through this figure, I argue, Cixous analyses the dehumanizing logic of colonialism and Anti-Semitism in colonial Algeria and develops her own response to it, arguing for human-animal relationality and affective corporeality.

Derrida’s concept of the “animot” in L’Animal que donc je suis establishes criteria inherent to animals that change their stature vis-à-vis humans, which I relate to Cixous’ autobiographical fiction. I hope to show that Cixous’ relationship with the dog Fips produces a stigma that, belatedly, disruptures the barrier between herself and this Dog; its reopening reveals a deep animal humanity generated by suffering, finitude and compassion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Glasgow: Oxford University Press, 2017. Vol. 31, no 4
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Ethics; Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-308751OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-308751DiVA: diva2:1050714
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-968
Available from: 2016-11-29 Created: 2016-11-29 Last updated: 2017-11-15

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