This paper considers the contribution that Human-Animal Studies (HAS) can make to understandings of sex and gender in applied linguistics. It situates HAS in relation to poststructural perspectives and suggests that their combination can enrich our understanding of humans’ place amongst other animals in the natural world.
In order to focus my approach, the particular animals I have chosen to speak about in this presentation are sharks and humans. I explore the discursive and embodied relationship between these two creatures through a series of texts, images and objects, and I consider the gendered and sexed meanings they offer. I argue that taking seriously both the textual and visceral complex of entanglements between human and non-human animals opens up opportunities for a more joyful and life affirming engagement with the world.