A spokesperson for the University of Arizona claimed that they have no ties with a visiting scholar from France who identifies as a hippopotamus.
Florentin Félix Morin, who is listed on the University of Arizona’s website as a visiting scholar, argued in the Journal of Theoretical Humanities that his hippo alter-ego has allowed him to navigate the world free from the constraints that “govern human bodies.”
This article explores the formation of a tranimal, hippopotamus alter-ego. Confronting transgender with transpecies, the author claims that his hippopotamus “identity” allowed him to (verbally) escape, all at once, several sets of categorization that govern human bodies (“gender,” “sexuality,” age). He starts with an account of how his metaphorical hippo-self is collectively produced and performed, distinguishing the subjective, the intersubjective and the social. The article then investigates the politics of equating transgender and transpecies, critically examining the question of the inclusion of “xenogenders” in the trans political movement.
The University of Arizona denied that Morin was associated with the University, despite a January announcement on their website that welcomed Morin to the institution’s Gender and Women’s Studies Department. The notice, published January 20, stated Morin was “beyond excited to be in Tucson for the Spring semester, benefit from all the department’s and the Institute’s activities, conduct fieldwork in the US, and meet everyone!”
A university spokesman told The College Fix that Morin “was not a researcher or an employee of any kind,” nor did he hold “student status” at the University.
“I do strongly love when my friends call me ‘hippo,’ refer to my ‘paws’ and pretend that they see no difference between me and one of my stuffed hippopotamuses, except that I’m a little bigger than most of them,” Morin wrote in the journal article. “In a surprising, sometimes overwhelming way I find comfort in this collectively performed animal identity.”
“Unlike the somewhat checkered, locked-down, and policed space of transgender, the space of transpecies remained open, as it is not scripted yet,” he added.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at email@example.com