Chapter 2 Myths: Fishy

This chapter explores a fishy subjectivity inspired by mermaids. But it’s also firmly located in body and place; that is, the experiences of trans women islanders in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Questions and Prompts

  1. Why are mermaids helpful for thinking about trans bodies, histories, and theories?
  2. Since the collapse of the Atlantic cod fishery in 1992, many Newfoundlanders have creatively expressed their relations to fish, as well as the impact of fish (and loss of fish) in their everyday lives. These interventions include visual art, literature, and music. What does this essay contribute to this discussion?
  3. Considering this essay together with chapter 3, “Hauntings: Love”, how might you draw on fish to make theory about your everyday life?


‘Mermaid in St. John’s Harbour’ by Theodor de Bry.
Illustration: Daze Jefferies.
lobster traps, Petty Harbour. Photo credit: Sonja Boon
Fishing rooms and stages, Tilting, Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon
Fishing rooms and stages, Petty Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Sonja Boon
Fishing boats, Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador. Photo credit: Lesley Butler


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(c) Sonja Boon, Lesley Butler, and Daze Jefferies, 2018.