queer fire : ecology, combustion and pyrosexual desire

Clark, Nigel Halcomb and Yusoff, Kathryn (2018) queer fire : ecology, combustion and pyrosexual desire. Feminist Review, 118 (1). pp. 7-24. ISSN 0141-7789

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We set out by noting the preference for circular flows in ecological thought, and the related abhorrence of inefficiency and waste that western ecology shares with mainstream economic thinking. This has often been manifest in a shared disdain both for uncontained, free-burning fire and for `unmanaged’ sexual desire. The paper constructs a `pyrosexual’ counter-narrative that explores the mutually constitutive and generative implication of sex and fire. Bringing together the solar ecology of Georges Bataille,feminist and queer thinking about sexuality and reproduction, and a range of ways of theorising biological life and fire, we explore how fire mediates between organismic desire and the energetic dynamics of the earth and solar system. The first section takes a genealogical approach to fire and sex that traces their entanglement from the initial `assembling’ of fire through to the emergence of a fire-handling creature. The second section looks at how fire has been contained and intensified by human actors, and the role that heat-driven transformations of inorganic matter have played in the incitement and channeling of desire in urban spaces. The third section addresses the development of industrial `heat engines’ and the implications for desire and reproduction of tapping vast reservoirs of subterranean solar energy. We round off by beginning to consider what alternative possibilities might lie in the re-negotiation of sex and fire on a planet undergoing rapid change.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Feminist Review
Additional Information:
This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Feminist Review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Clark, N. & Yusoff, K. Fem Rev (2018) 118: 7. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41305-018-0101-3 is available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41305-018-0101-3
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? firesex ecologybiology batailleclimate changequeer theorygender studies ??
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Deposited On:
10 Aug 2017 08:42
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 17:08