In this talk, Willey both frames and traces the broad contours of Undoing Monogamy, a radically interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of monogamy in U.S. science and culture, propelled by queer feminist desires for new modes of conceptualization and new forms of belonging. She approaches the politics and materiality of monogamy as intertwined with one another such that disciplinary ways of knowing themselves become an object of critical inquiry. Refusing to answer the naturalization of monogamy with a naturalization of nonmonogamy, the book demands a critical reorientation toward the monogamy question in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
The talk traverses the books' treatments of colonial sexual science, monogamous voles, polyamory, and the works of Alison Bechdel and Audre Lorde to show how challenging the lens through which human nature is seen as monogamous or nonmonogamous forces us to reconsider our investments in coupling and in disciplinary notions of biological bodies.
Angela Willey is a Five Colleges Assistant Professor who teaches feminist science studies, feminist epistemologies and research, and queer and sexuality studies in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies (WGSS) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Gender Studies (GS) at Mount Holyoke College, and the School of Critical Social Inquiry (CSI) at Hampshire College. Co-sponsors: Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies, Asian American Cultural Politics Research Group, Cultural Studies Graduate Group, Science & Technology Studies, Department of English, Feminist Research Institute, Davis Humanities Institute