1st Edition

Feminist Reconfigurings of Alien Encounters Ethical Co-Existence in More-than-Human Worlds

By Nina Lykke, Katja Aglert, Line Henriksen Copyright 2024
    148 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Feminist Reconfigurings of Alien Encounters reclaims the notion of alien encounters together with strange but queerly loved companions: Vulgar slugs, diatoms (micro-algae), and familiars (spirit guides of witches). The book’s three human co-authors ask: what would it take to establish more-than-human, bio- and geo-egalitarian co-existence on a planet in trouble?

    This playfully crafted mixed-genre book is informed by feminist posthumanisms and co-created with a spectral community of more-than-humans who are respectfully summoned to contribute with their perspectives. In focus of the entangled artistic-philosophical-poetic investigations are questions of ethics, aesthetics, and methodologies to co-exist response-ably rather than based on modern human beliefs in exceptionalism and entitlement to sovereignty, control, and conquest of more-than-human worlds.

    Feminist Reconfi gurings of Alien Encounters is intended for broad global audiences of researchers, teachers, professionals, NGOs, politicians, students from undergraduate to postgraduate levels, artists, writers, activists, and artivists who are interested in entangled artistic-poetic-philosophical modes of understanding the world as well as in ecology, new feminist materialism, critical posthumanism, and questions about radically rethinking and reimagining human/more-than-human relations on Earth.

    Prologue: Experimental Writing with Spectral Communities and Triquetras; Chapter 1: Reconfiguring Alien Encounters: Introduction; Intertext I Alien Arrivals: Slugs; Chapter 2: Encountering Vulgar Slugs: What Can a Bite Tell About More-than-Human Becomings?; Intertext II Alien Arrivals: Diatoms; Chapter 3: Becoming a Compassionate Diatom Companion; Intertext III Alien Arrivals: Familiars; Chapter 4: Writings from the Pit: On Creative Blocks and the Internal Editor as Familiar Spirit; Chapter 5: More-than-Human Ethics and Poetics; Chapter 6: Conversations on Alien Methods and Writing; Epilogue: Endless End


    Nina Lykke is Professor Emerita, Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden, and Aarhus University, Denmark, and a poet and writer. Her research focuses on queer death studies, intersectionality, feminist posthumanism, and queer ecologies. Her monographs include Cosmodolphins (2000), Feminist Studies (2010), and Vibrant Death (2022).

    Katja Aglert is a Stockholm-based artist and 2020–2022 Professor of Art, Linköping University, Sweden. For 20 years, she has explored transdisciplinary, often collaborative processes situated in feminist and more-than-human imaginaries. Her exhibitions include FLORA ars + natura, Bogotá; Marabouparken, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago de Chile.

    Line Henriksen is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at Malmö University, Sweden. She is the author of the monograph In the Company of Ghosts: Hauntology, Ethics, Digital Monsters (2016), and her research interests include monster theory, hauntology, and creative writing as method.

    On a damaged earth, human beings must finally learn to meet more-than-humans on their terms. That’s no small trick for the vertebrate-centric, especially when the partners are unfamiliars like diatoms and slugs. Helped by one or two spirit familiars, this smart, lively book is full of tips for cultivating response-ability, possibly even before the dire heritage of human exceptionalism boils us all up. 

    Donna Haraway, Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA


    A sensitive yet vibrant and sympathetically weird volume exploring queer ways to think of the less emphasized others of our world’s occupants. The authors remind us that posthumanism deals with a host of alien and strange fabulations which have lived alongside us and existed for longer than us, in their own ways irreducible to anthropocentric philosophical capture. A beautiful and activism-inspiring book.  

    Patricia MacCormack, Professor of Continental Philosophy, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK


    With tenderness and vulnerability, the authors sincerely stretch their hands, hearts and minds out to meet and be met by alien others. In doing so they sculpt a post-human practice of kinship that is much needed in these petro-patriarchal times. Playful, thoughtful and committed, this book bridges theory, art, and creative writing, putting to use all these tools in such a way that readers will feel they can embark on alien journeys themselves.   

    Camila Marambio, PhD, Curator, Artist, Independent Researcher, Ensayos. Curator of the Chilean Pavillion Turba Tol Hol-Hol at the 59th Venice Art Biennale 2022


    This book is a kin-spirited gathering of somatic and spectral desires to connect with mineralized, mucous-abundant and mysterious others beyond, and within, our different Earthly ways of being. It seeks out creative, epistemic hybridity through collective imaginings that tenderly nibble and glide, and poetically disrupt genres of writing, knowing, care, and companionability with other-than-human collaborators.  

    Susan Reid, PhD, University of Sydney, Australia, Cultural Theorist, Creative Researcher, Artist and Writer


    Overturning  expectations, the authors playfully and deconstructively employ both cognitive and affective techniques of estrangement and defamiliarization to undermine human exceptionalism and power, offering instead radically different, mutualistic practices of more-than-human companionships. For many readers, this startling and ambitious text will be an alien – yet highly productive - encounter in itself. 

    Margrit Shildrick, Guest Professor of Gender and Knowledge Production, Stockholm University, Sweden