MacCormack, Patricia (2006) Necrosexuality. Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, 11/12. Online. ISSN 1555-9998

Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (136kB) | Preview
Official URL:


Subjectivities configured as post-human may challenge investments in former configurations of what it means to be human, but there remains enough of a residue of ‘the human’ for culture to persist in defining the non-human, or specifically non-humans. If it is conceived by what remains of culture as human, sexuality implies an involvement with the human. Whether it is within or between entities or as ubiquitous dissipative force sexuality effectuates alterations in patterns of subjectivity through desire, pleasure, sexual events and affects. Ethically this definition impels the need to theorise those who don’t count. Corpses provide an ambivalent point within the human/nonhuman issue as they are both and neither human/nonhuman – the were that do and don’t count. The corpse is the actual material residue of ‘the human’. Necrophilic desire is located around this involvement. Even the discrepancy in describing desire for corpses or for the corpse raises issues of necrophilia being a generic sexuality – the necrophile – or a specific dialectic – desire for a corpse invested with particular individual qualities or memories of those qualities. ‘Non/Human’ invokes machines, animals, epistemes, powers, inanimate objects. Corpses share everything with humans except life, so the non-human element in necrophilia is the absence of life rather than genus or organic alterity. Animation, rot and other material differences follow. This chapter explores the navigations of the human raised when the corpse – human non-human and simultaneously non-human human – enters into a desiring pattern with a living force tactically described as human.

Item Type: Journal Article
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2010 15:51
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:03

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item