Skip to main content

Cougar figures, gender, and the performances of predation

Buy Article:

$51.63 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

This article considers how nonhuman animals are enrolled in the construction of gendered identities. Specifically, I interrogate two gendered figures with which I was repeatedly confronted over the course of researching cougar–human relationships on Vancouver Island, home to what is estimated to be North America's densest population of cougars. The first figure, Cougar Annie, was a woman ‘settler’ on western Vancouver Island, reputed to have killed over 100 cougars in her lifetime and now celebrated as a strong, independent female. The second figure is a contemporary trope, an older woman who expresses interest in younger men, known in slang speech as a ‘cougar’. Both figures are intimately bound to a third figure, the animal cougar, Puma concolor, whose material–semiotic relationship to humans both performs and is performed by ‘cougars’ and Cougar Annie. Haraway's conception of figures as embodied and performative mappings of power is central to this article's discussion, which lies at the intersection of animal studies, more-than-human geographies, posthumanism, and feminist science studies. Methodologically, I draw on interviews and archival research to trace the historical and contemporary specificities of these two figures – Cougar Annie and ‘cougars’ – revealing how they are informed by, and simultaneously produce, uphold, and perform, gendered understandings of the relationship between humans and cougars, predator and prey, humans and animals, and culture and nature.

Keywords: Haraway; animales; animals; cougars; figuras; figures; gender; género; poshumanismo; posthumanism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2011.610179

Affiliations: Department of Geography,University of British Columbia, 1984 West MallVancouver, CanadaV6T 1Z2,

Publication date: August 1, 2012

More about this publication?
routledg/cgpc/2012/00000019/00000004/art00006
dcterms_title,dcterms_description,pub_keyword
6
5
20
40
5

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more