Antibody // Traumatic Entanglement, Eco-Poethics, and Speculative Horror as Survivor Futurisms

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University of New Brunswick


The speculative horror poems collected in Antibody trace the ecological and personal entanglements of sexual trauma and its myriad intersecting oppressions. The introductory section brings polyvocal queer attention to entanglement ontology, an ecocritical expansion of intersectional feminist theory. This approach roots all human and social issues in the urgent ecological crises of the Anthropocene; in a very literal sense, every social interaction is “always 100 percent nature and 100 percent nurture” (Fausto-Sterling qtd in Sullivan 24). The subsequent sections of poetry chart the dissolution of a sexually violated speaker entangled in the hegemonies that perpetuate the parallel harms of rape culture and ecological destruction. The essays accompanying each section of poems expand this narrative by interrogating three particular horrors of various traumatized ecosystems: INVASION, on the imbrication of sexual violence in literary communities and the silencing that countered the #MeToo movement in CanLit; HAUNTING, on the biologically interlocked oppressions that make the current world unsurvivable for sick and survivor bodies; and KINSICKNESS, on the disrupted relationality that characterizes both sexual and ecological traumas, and the rituals which may offer ways to heal broken relations. By attending to trauma on multiple scales through poetry, hybrid non-fiction, and feminist horror, Antibody proposes horror as a mode that radically refuses to erase the atrocities of the Anthropocene, while also acting as a form of speculative futurism that imagines alternate futures in which traumatized people and ecosystems can survive.