Animals without genitals by Mel Chen and Lessons from a Starfish by Eva Hayward – Discussion Questions

1. Chen works to deconstruct the concept of what it means to be human by speaking of humans and animals together as opposed to separately. For him to further build on this, he reconstructs his approach to form a foundation that animals share these same challenges. In what ways does Chen relate being human to being an animal? How does the concept of trans-animality redefine humanity?

2. Chen largely focuses on “body without organs” as part of his theory. However what particular influences does Deleuze have on Chen’s assumptions?

3. Hayward describes instead of removing a limb as “losing” part of oneself, cutting the limb allows for growth of a new part. Her use of the term “regeneration” allows her to explain it as “reshaping ones body and redefining oneself.” Though using words such as “cutting,” she adapts it to the process of transitioning in a positive way. However, why does the current language in trans-surgeries imply a negative connotation?

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