Simpson Center Research Cluster – The Postcolonial Animal: Nature/Culture/Empire

Animal Studies has gained great visibility thanks in part to the contributions of such leading scholarly figures as Jacques Derrida (2008), Donna Haraway (2008), and Martha Nussbaum (2007). As the Chronicle for Higher Education put it, “animal studies has become a force to be reckoned with in philosophy, literary and cultural studies, history, and other fields with a traditionally humanistic bent” (Howard 2009). A sign of the importance of the “animal turn” is the emergence of new fields it has made possible, the most notable of which we argue is the study of what we call “the postcolonial animal,” shorthand for the urgency, utility, and even the necessity of placing race, sex, and species within the same analytic frame.

Following scholarship on intersectionality, a particularly powerful analytic tool for understanding identity formation and experience, we argue that species can be added to—and can intersect with—gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality, to better understand how vectors of power and privilege are formed and how we might start to shift them in the direction of greater social justice.

The Critical Animal Studies Working Group is grateful to the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington for funding a research cluster – The Postcolonial Animal: Nature/Culture/Empire – organized by Professors Maria Elena Garcia (CHID/JSIS), Michael Brown (Geography), and Louisa Mackenzie (French/Italian). Full schedule here.


Seattle Arts & Lecture U Series – Thinking Animals: Species, Power and the Politics of Care in the World

7PM- January 9, 2015, January 30, 2015, February 13, 2015, February 27, 2015 and March 6, 2015 – Henry Art Gallery Auditorium at the University of Washington

Presented in partnership with the University of Washington’s Critical Animal Studies working group.

Animals occupy a paradoxical place in the world: they are everywhere, yet hidden. This course explores the histories, politics, and cultural dynamics of how humans see and do not see animals in the world. Bringing expertise from wildlife sciences, animal welfare, geography, anthropology, literature and political science, a distinguished set of speakers will explore human-animal connections in a range of global and historical contexts, including Renaissance France, contemporary Peru, and urban and rural spaces in the United States.

This series of lectures will be held at the Henry Art Gallery in conjunction with their upcoming exhibition by Ann Hamilton which will touch on themes of human and non-human animals. For more on Ann Hamilton and this exhibition click here.


Past Events 

For a list of past Critical Animal Studies Working Group events, visit our ‘Past Events‘ page.


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