Claire Kim (University of California, Irvine)
- May 01, 2014, Time TBD
- Location TBD
More information at: http://www.grad.washington.edu/lectures/claire-jean-kim.shtml
Claire Kim (University of California, Irvine)
More information at: http://www.grad.washington.edu/lectures/claire-jean-kim.shtml
Mark Hawthorne will talk about his new book, Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering and what it was like to write this kind of book, and he will share with us more generally his work as an advocate for animals. The workshop will continue with a conversation about the emotional toll of research and writing about animal suffering, the connections between activist and academic work, and strategies for how activists and academics might shield themselves from burnout.
Mark Hawthorne is the author of two books on animal rights: Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering, which examines the many ways humans exploit nonhumans, and Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (both from Changemakers Books), which empowers people around the world to get active for animals. He gave up eating meat after an encounter with one of India’s many cows in 1992 and became an ethical vegan a decade later. His writing has also been featured in Vegan’s Daily Companion (Quarry Books) and in the anthologies Uncaged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Farm Animal Advocacy (Ben Davidow) and Stories to Live By: Wisdom to Help You Make the Most of Every Day and The Best Travel Writing 2005: True Stories from Around the World (both from Travelers’ Tales). Mark is a frequent contributor to VegNews magazine. He and his wife Lauren live in California.
lauren Ornelas, Founder and Director of Food Empowerment Project
How do our food choices impact humans, animals and the environment around the globe? What does a just food system look like and how do we make it possible? lauren Ornelas, of Food Empowerment Project, will talk about interlocking oppressions in the food system as she shares her life-long work to end exploitative food production practices. Ornelas will speak about her advocacy for workers’ rights in the Central Valley of California and Food Empowerment Project’s efforts to improve access to healthy foods for low income communities and communities of color in the United States, her recent campaign to end child slavery in chocolate production in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, and her ongoing commitment to ending the exploitation of animals in the food system locally and around the globe.
Special thanks to the co-sponsors of this event: Anthropology, Geography, American Ethnic Studies, Comparative History of Ideas, and the Diversity Research Institute.
lauren Ornelas is the founder of Food Empowerment Project and serves as the group’s executive director. She is also the former executive director of Viva!USA, a national nonprofit vegan advocacy organization. lauren has been active in the animal rights movement for more than 20 years. After spending four years as national campaign coordinator for In Defense of Animals, lauren was asked by Viva!UK to start and run Viva!USA in 1999. In cooperation with activists across the country, she worked and achieved corporate changes within Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and Pier 1 Imports, among others. She served as campaign director with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition for six years.
More on the Food Empowerment Project here: http://www.foodispower.org
Public Talks: Wednesday, January 29, 4:30–6:30 in Communications 120
Critical Animal Studies Workshop: Thursday, January 30, 12:00–2:00 in Thomson 317
Co-sponsored by Comparative History of Ideas, History, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, the Simpson Center for the Humanities, and the Critical Animal Studies Working Group.
Bios and Abstracts
Zeb Tortorici is Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. He received his Ph.D. in History from UCLA, and has published articles in Ethnohistory, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, History Compass, e-misférica, and has an article forthcoming in GLQ. He has chapters in the edited volumes Death and Dying in Colonial Spanish America and Queer Youth Cultures. With Martha Few, he recently co-edited Centering Animals in Latin American History (Duke University Press, 2013). With Daniel Marshall and Kevin Murphy, he is currently co-editing two special issues of Radical History Review on the topic of “queering archives,” and with Pete Sigal and Erika Robb Larkins, he is co-editing Ethnopornography: Sexuality, Colonialism, and Anthropological Knowing.
Bestiality and the Human/Animal Boundary in New Spain
This talk interrogates the many ways that humans and animals interacted physically, theologically, and metaphorically in relation to the question of desire. I demonstrate how the natural/unnatural dichotomy—so salient a category in Spanish religious doctrine—interacts with other binary categories like human/animal and sodomy/reproductive sex. This talk also seeks to “center animals” by focusing, to the extent that it is possible, on non-human animal subjectivities. In contrast to their human counterparts, the European domesticated animals—donkeys, mares, goats, dogs, and hens—that criminal courts implicated in the crime of bestiality were regularly put to death by secular courts, so as to “erase the memory of such acts.” Using a corpus of 108 criminal bestiality cases and 25 Inquisition denunciations from New Spain (between the years of 1530 and 1821), this chapter delves into the rural nature of a crime that legal records document far more frequently than the other “sins against nature” of sodomy, same-sex solicitation, and masturbation. Ultimately, this paper shows that the human/animal boundary was never absolute, and that the physical, ideological, and metaphorical crossings rendered nature and the category of the unnatural—and that of the “human”—paradoxical, ambiguous, and riddled with inconsistencies.
Archives and Animalicity
Centering on an anonymously penned eighteenth-century archival document found in Mexico’s national historical archive—the Discurso Filosofico Sobre el Lenguage de los Animales (“Philosophical Discourse on the Language of Animals”)—this talk traces my increasingly complex encounters with animals in the historical archives of the Spanish empire, from the early sixteenth century until the early nineteenth. By focusing on my own struggles to historically and theoretically contextualize this particularly quixotic document, I discuss the ways in which animal meaning is produced through archival practices. The Discurso Filosofico, which broaches the topics of animal sentience, language, communication, and souls, forces scholars to reconsider the disjuncture between textual representations of animals and real animals that lived in the past.
Building on anthropologist Neil L. Whitehead’s recent definition of historicity as “the investigation of cultural schema and subjective attitudes that make the past meaningful,” here I put forth the term animalicity as a productive category through which to think about the cultural schema and subjective attitudes that make the animal meaningful in the past. Animalicity, as I take it, encompasses a methodology of how the animal may be written or otherwise expressed in historical documentation, while simultaneously pointing to the disjunctive space between textual representations of animals, archival narratives about animals, and the once living sentient animals of the past. I argue that in order to more meaningfully “center animals” in the past, we need not only to search for physical and textual traces of animals in archives, but also to expand our notion of the archive as a complex zoopolitical space—a space where animal meaning is produced, where animalicity abounds, and where the specter of the animal haunts historical documentation.
Martha Few is Associate Professor of colonial Latin American history at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She is author of Women Who Live Evil Lives: Gender, Religion, and the Politics of Power in Colonial Guatemala (2002) and, with Zeb Tortorici, Centering Animals in Latin American History (2013). Prof. Few has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and has held research fellowships at the Newberry Library, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Huntington Library. She is currently finishing a new book, Signs of Life: Mesoamerican and Colonial Medicine in Enlightenment Guatemala.
Killing Locusts in Colonial Guatemala
During three-plus centuries of Spanish colonial rule, locusts, by periodically joining to creating mass stream ways and traveling hundreds of miles, played a significant role in the history of colonial Guatemala. The devouring insect swarms repeatedly consumed and transformed the landscape of the Audiencia of Guatemala, a geographic area that roughly comprises what is today southern Mexico and the nation-states of Central America, and that was the site of Mesoamerican civilizations that included the Maya. Yet for the most part, scholars have focused on insects such as locusts only in supporting roles in a greater narrative describing the history of agriculture and public health. Accounts of locust infestations written by political officials, priests, farmers, Maya elites, and European travellers reveal that ways that those living in the Audiencia considered locusts to be significantly embedded in a wide range of colonial economic, political, and religious processes, processes that historians have deemed central to research on the history colonialism in Latin America.
Animals, Human Reproduction, and Shape-Shifting Sorcery in Colonial Guatemala
In colonial Guatemala, sources describing magical violence and malevolent witchcraft in community conflicts portrayed exceptional women and men as having the power to shape-shift– to transform their own bodies into animals and natural objects. This has been called nagualismo in the ethnohistorical literature, and though local variations have been noted, shape-changing ability has generally been attributed to the most successful and feared ritual specialists. This essay continues to explore the issue of shape-shifting as an example of Mesoamerican ritual power during the colonial period, but I expand my historical investigations to consider depictions of the shape shifter’s ability to both cross and manipulate human-animal boundaries, and how these transformations played out in cultural understandings of animals in relation to human reproduction and fetal development. The essay analyzes a series of case studies where ritual specialists transformed their own bodies and the bodies of others, targeting sexual organs as sites for the physical display of their powers to disrupt human reproduction. I probe the issue of the permeability of human-animal boundaries further by analyzing sources that depict the fetus as shape-shifter, portrayed as capable of transformation during fetal development in utero within a continuum of human, animal, and hybrid human-animal. Together, these examples allow me to explore representations of flexible and unstable binaries of human/animal and male/female, as well as the fragility of the category of human, within historical understandings of shape-shifting and malevolent sorcery in colonial Mesoamerican ritual cultures. In this way I attempt to rethink the links between gendered ritual power and reproduction, and how these links provide clues to understanding the categories of human and animal as a continuum rather than as binary categories in colonial Mesoamerica.
Paul Waldau (Canisius College)
There will be a workshop with Professor Waldau on Friday November 8, 9:30–11:00, Savery 359.
From Animal Rights to Animal Studies: In describing one of his current projects, Paul Waldau notes that “traditional education about nonhumans can be summed by Theodore Roszak’s observation, ‘let us admit that the academy has rarely been a place of daring.’” In this talk, Waldau, a scholar of animal studies, ethics, religion, law and cultural studies, describes why the urgency of daring to inquire openly about the moral significance of nonhuman animals. In this exploration of the challenges posed by “the animal” for the humanities and the human sciences, Waldau engages with debates over the pedagogical, political, and affective dimensions of an interdisciplinary conversation that has gone from “animal rights” to “Animal Studies.”
More on Paul Waldau here: http://www.paulwaldau.com/bio–cv.html
Anthropologist Naisargi Dave (University of Toronto)
Professor Dave will discuss her new project, The Social Skin: Humans and Animals in India. Co-sponsored by Anthropology; CHID; Critical Animal Studies Working Group; Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies; and South Asia Center.
You are also invited to a workshop with Professor Dave on Thursday October 31, 10:00 a.m., Savery 408
Abstract: There are many affective modalities in animal activism: pity, outrage, disgust, suffering, hopelessness. Indeed it is this affective charge that some point to as a sign of animal activism’s irrationality, its animal-feminine nature, its precarious existence as a human politics. This paper’s first objective is to argue that precarity emerges with the very assertion of human being, for it is with that assertion that we understand, however silently, what it would mean to not be that. This is precarity: trying to remain something that is only what we anxiously say it is, trying to remain human. If this is precarity, then precarity is not a sign of the times and it is not uniquely classed; nor, however, is it everywhere. This paper’s second task is engaging with ways of being and becoming that dissolve the self in relation to its others by disavowing the liberal dictums of rights, hope, agency, and struggle and recognizing instead that we are all co-sufferers in the world, no more man than donkey, pig than child. How does one act when there is no One to act on an Other’s behalf? How does one act after feeling that attachment to one’s human being is the ground of injustice and thus cannot be its redemption? This is not a rousing politics but it is a radical one, and I draw on my work with animal activists in India to show that the future of political life might not be in hope but in nothing at all.
Naisargi N. Dave is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. Her research concerns emergent forms of politics and relationality in India, specifically queer and posthuman. Dave’s articles have appeared in journals such as American Ethnologist, Signs, and Feminist Studies. Her book, Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics is published by Duke University Press and was awarded the 2013 Ruth Benedict Prize. She is currently working on her second book, The Social Skin: Humans and Animals in India.
Iván Sandoval Cervantes (PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Oregon)
This paper is an attempt to theoretically construct a concept of multi-species ethnography that addresses the ways in which the inequalities produced by processes of globalization affect nonhuman animals. In this sense, a multi-species ethnographical project should see nonhuman animals not only as symbols or as part of the natural resources available to humans but as part of complex historical interspecies trajectories (Kirksey and Helmreich 2010).
These trajectories include notions about ownership that regulate the relations between human and nonhuman animals. It is by analyzing these trajectories that multi-species ethnographies can question how different nonhuman animal species have been placed in what I call (based Aiwha Ong’s (2006) concept of “graduated citizenship”) “graduated humanness” that encompasses ideas about animal and human rights, and the agency of nonhuman animals, and that influences how humans interact with nonhuman animals. To exemplify the use of this theoretical framework I will analyze an event that took place in Mexico City in January 2013 that involved a pack of “wild” dogs “attacking” and “killing” a group of people in Mexico City’s most populated borough.