The queer temporality of CandidaHomo biotechnocultures

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This paper weaves together microsocial interactions, evolutionary theories of community and queer understandings of family, kinship and intimacy to grasp some of the complex microbiopolitics of the CandidaHomo ecology. I discuss contemporary scientific understandings of Candida albicans sociality as highly tactile and sensual, bodies constantly in touch with surfaces—chemicals, cells, tissues, prosthetics. I explore the highly contested field of evolutionary theories of social selection, including biogenetic kin selection and its biases about reproduction, intimacy and care. CandidaHomo ecologies are woven through queer kinship that is biological, but not genetic; embodied, but not essentialist. Queer communities, founded on choice and more–than–biological recognition, are considered as an alternative to dominant gene–centric kinship theories. These communities are intimate, performative and more–than–human, emerging from necessity and constantly co-created. However, homonormativity and biogenetic exclusion lurk in the closet of contemporary families of choice. I consider Luce Irigaray’s figuration of eros as a visceral and tactile reorientation of relatedness and care towards CandidaHomo kind, always already formed through impersonal intimacies and caresses. Finally, the artwork Surface Dynamics of Adhesion (2015) is discussed as a material–semiotic resolution and “technology” for making kin, as Donna Haraway might say.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-45
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Feminist Studies
Issue number99
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019


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