Damnatio ad bestias: Performing Animality and Womanhood in Contemporary Irish and Galician Poetry




Parole chiave:

Poetry; Ireland; Galicia; Ecocriticism; Ecofeminism; Animal Studies


The concomitant subjection of women and animals was denounced as early as 1990 by Carol J. Adams in The Sexual Politics of Meat, where she identified the intersections of discourses that aim at the subjugation of women and animals and censured those practices that animalize women and feminize animals for the better exploitation of both. More recent ecofeminist debates, however, have highlighted women’s vindication of animality with the aim to recuperate one’s repressed animal nature and rebel against oppressive anthropocentric and androcentric constrictions (Velasco Sesma 2017). This article focuses on contemporary Irish and Galician poetry concerned with the performativity of animality and womanhood in contemporary society and engaged in the emancipation of women and animals from patriarchal oppression. Ireland and Galicia have shared longstanding cultural bonds and, since the 1990s, have experienced a conspicuous accession of women writers who have participated in the feminist and environmental debates of their respective communities. This article exposes the intersecting discourses and practices that subdue animals and women, as evinced in contemporary Irish and Galician writing, and shows how poetry can become a locus of resistance and woman-animal complicity in the struggle for mutual emancipation.

Biografie autore

Manuela Palacios, University of Santiago de Compostela

Manuela Palacios is Profesora Titular of English at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. She has directed five research projects on contemporary Irish and Galician literature that have been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and has edited and co-edited several books and special journal issues in relation to this topic (Estudios Irlandeses: Ecofictions, the Animal Trope and Irish Studies, 15.2 2020). Her other publications include articles on ecocriticism and animal studies

Marilar Aleixandre, University of Santiago de Compostela

Marilar Aleixandre (pen name of María Pilar Jiménez-Aleixandre) has split identities, as Ad Honorem Professor at the University of Santiago de Compostela, she studies argumentation and critical thinking in science: Critical Thinking in Biology and Environmental Education (2021); as Galician poet and fiction writer focusing on women's voices: Head of Medusa (Small Station Press, 2019) about social exclusion following rape; collected in anthologies such as Migrant shores (Salmon, 2017).




Come citare

Palacios, Manuela, e Marilar Aleixandre. 2021. «Damnatio Ad Bestias: Performing Animality and Womanhood in Contemporary Irish and Galician Poetry». Altre Modernità, n. 26 (novembre):84-98. https://doi.org/10.54103/2035-7680/16690.



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