Bug bytes: Insects, information, and interspecies theatricality

Una Chaudhuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay uses an animal studies perspective to situate Tracy Letts's 1996 play Bug at a particularly fraught and complex moment in the long history of an "insect imaginary," which has variously registered and managed humans' intense ambivalence toward insects. The complexity includes a dawning recognition - alongside a reluctant admission - that insect species may not be as alien as we have traditionally styled them. In Bug, as in a variety of other recent insect representations, a revisioning of the insect imaginary is linked to a digitally inflected post-humanism in which decentered intelligence and distributed agency offer a welcome alternative to individualistic - selfcentered - modes of political and artistic expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-334
Number of pages14
JournalTheatre Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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