Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

animal studies August 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Royce @ 6:20 am
Tags: ,

This summer I’ve read a number of books that fit into the grouping of animal studies. Interestingly most of these came from Columbia University Press. A year ago I didn’t even know that animal studies existed, and now it seems to be popping up everywhere: example one and example two. Hell, even my school is offering an animal studies course without actually calling it as such:

Animal Metaphors. When humans place themselves above and beyond nature, they are more likely to engage in practices that are destructive to the environment. The purpose of this course is to discover how and why humans so often define themselves in opposition to the animal world, and to use both art and science in order to explore alternative identities that would help us come to terms with our own “animal” being. As we consider stories about animals in various works of literature and film, we study humans themselves as a species to which evolution has bequeathed a host of traits and capacities, including the capacity for story-telling. Readings in cognitive science and evolutionary psychology help us to reframe questions of human identity in relation to animals. Towards the end of the course, we examine ways in which various cultural narratives, including ecocriticism, have been transformed by a more scientifically informed appreciation of animals as metaphors, and of humans as “metaphorizing animals.”

So I began looking around to see if there were any animal studies programs, and all I could find was the graduate specialization at Michigan State. Does anyone know of any others?

I’m really liking this trend towards multi- and interdisciplinary explorations of subjects (most of the courses I’ve taken in school were in urban studies, women studies, media studies, and american culture), and I’m also glad to see that many manifestations of animal studies are largely critical with an eye towards improving human and nonhuman interactions.

The most disappointing aspect of animal studies so far?

You guessed it: the field is dominated by white men. Which could help explain why so many of the books coming out are boring explorations into the same Derrida text (I love Derrida, but let us do something new). I want to see some queer theory, feminist theory, critical race theory, crip theory, postcolonial theory and so on and so forth intersecting with animal studies.

 

22 Responses to “animal studies”

  1. Lauren Says:

    Hey Royce,

    Thanks for your post.

    I was recently hired for the “Critical Animal Studies” position in Sociology at Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario. There is currently a Concentration and Minor in Critical Animal Studies offered to students. This Fall I will be teaching a course that specifically deals with the intersections among questions of animality, and critical race, labour, feminist, postcolonial and environmental theory. I’m looking forward to it. An intersectional approach centrally informs my work.

    John Sorenson and I will both be teaching CAS courses in the Fall and Winter terms.

    Lauren

    • Royce Says:

      Lauren,

      Thanks for the info! I just took a glance at the MA in English and MA in Sociology (gotta check out everything, I’m applying for grad school soon) and I’m glad to see animal studies represented in both. I’m curious, could you suggest some texts that deal with the intersections?

      R

  2. Lauren Says:

    (Trying to post with it broken down into chunks…)

    Hi Royce,

    Here’s some suggestions. A numbers of these are on my Fall syllabus. Obviously, by no means do I present this as an exhaustive list:

    Birke, L. (2002). Intimate Familiarities? Feminism and Human-Animal Studies. Society & Animals. 10, 4, 430-436.

    “Birke, L. & Parisi, L. (1999 ). Animals, Becoming, in H. P. Steeves’ (Ed). Animal Others: On ethics, ontology, and animal life. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

    Callicott, J.B. (1989). Animal liberation: A triangular affair, in In defense of the Land Ethic: Essays in environmental philosophy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. (Reader)

    Davis, K. (1995). Thinking Like a Chicken: Farm Animals and the Feminine Connection. In C. Adams, & J. Donovan (Eds.), Animals & Women: Feminist theoretical explorations (pp. 192-212). Durham and London: Duke University Press.

    Varner, G. (2003). Can Animal Rights Activists be Environmentalists? In S. Armstrong & R. Botzler. (Eds.), The animal ethics reader (pp. 410-421). New York, NY: Routledge.

    Coronado, R. & Ross, M. (2003). Rod Coronado: A Voice for Liberation, in M. Ross’ Art, activism, feminism, sex work, indigenous people & the fur industry, AIDS & animal research, queers & animal liberation… [independent publication, transcribed Animal Voices’ interview]

    Gaard, G. (2001, Winter). Tools for a Cross-Cultural Feminist Ethics: Exploring Ethical Contexts and Contents in the Makah Whale Hunt. Hypatia, 15(1), 1-26.

    Emel, J. Are You Man Enough, Big and Bad Enough? Wolf Eradication in the US. in J. Wolch & J. Emel (Eds.) Animal geographies: Place, politics, and identity in the nature-culture borderlands. (this chapter deals with First Nations issues and colonialism)

    Elder, G, Wolch, J., & J. Emel. (1998). Le Pratique Sauvage: Race, Place, and the Human-Animal Divide, in J. Wolch & J. Emel (Eds.) Animal geographies: Place, politics, and identity in the nature-culture borderlands.

  3. Lauren Says:

    Armstrong, P. (2002). The Postcolonial Animal. Society & Animals, 10(4), 413-419.

    Hamanaka, S. & Basile, T. (2005, June/July). Racism and the Animal Rights Movement. Satya Magazine [online edition]. http://www.satyamag.com/jun05/hamanaka.html

    Rifkin, J. (1993). Part One: Cattle and the Making of Western Civilization, in Beyond Beef: The rise and fall of the cattle culture. New York: Plume.

    Noske, B. (1997). The animal industrial complex, in Beyond boundaries: Humans and animals. Montreal, New York, London: Black Rose Books.

    Hribal, J. (2003). “Animals Are Part of the Working Class”: A Challenge to Labor History. Labor History, 44(4), 435-453.

    Nibert, D. (2002). Capitalist expansion and oppression, in Animal rights/Human rights: Entanglements of oppression and Liberation (pp. 56-101). New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

    Anderson K, 2000, “‘The beast within’: race, humanity, and animality” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 18(3) 301 – 320

  4. Lauren Says:

    A few radio interviews that might be of interest:

    Corman, L. (Host). (2008, August 19). [Radio interview with Mathew Brower]. Wildlife Photography: The Legacy of Camera Hunting, Masculinity, and Colonialism. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from Animal Voices Web site: http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/mathew_brower

    Corman, L. (Host). (2007, May 15). [Radio interview with John Sanbonmatsu]. Animal Liberation, Critical Theory, and the Left. Retrieved August 31, 2007, from Animal Voices Web site: http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_2.mp3" /]

    Corman, L. (Host). (2007, April 3). [Radio interview with David Nibert]. Cows, Colonialism, and Capitalism: Interview with David Nibert. Retrieved April 10, 2007, from Animal Voices Web site: http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_2.mp3" /]

    Sistah Vegan
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/203

    On the MOVE: Interview with Ramona Africa
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/279

    Vegan Hip Hop Movement
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/kevin_tillman

    Corman, L. (2001, May). Ecofeminism and animal rights: A conversation with Greta Gaard. [Interview]. http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_2.mp3" /]
    (This is a really old interview! I think I’ve gotten better over the years!)

  5. Lauren Says:

    A few radio interviews that might be of interest:

    Corman, L. (Host). (2008, August 19). [Radio interview with Mathew Brower]. Wildlife Photography: The Legacy of Camera Hunting, Masculinity, and Colonialism. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from Animal Voices Web site: http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/mathew_brower

    Corman, L. (Host). (2007, May 15). [Radio interview with John Sanbonmatsu]. Animal Liberation, Critical Theory, and the Left. Retrieved August 31, 2007, from Animal Voices Web site: http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_2.mp3" /]

  6. Lauren Says:

    Corman, L. (Host). (2007, April 3). [Radio interview with David Nibert]. Cows, Colonialism, and Capitalism: Interview with David Nibert. Retrieved April 10, 2007, from Animal Voices Web site: http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_2.mp3" /]

    Sistah Vegan
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/203

    On the MOVE: Interview with Ramona Africa
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/279

    Vegan Hip Hop Movement
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/kevin_tillman

  7. Lauren Says:

    Corman, L. (Host). (2007, April 3). [Radio interview with David Nibert]. Cows, Colonialism, and Capitalism: Interview with David Nibert. Retrieved April 10, 2007, from Animal Voices Web site: http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://www.animalvoices.ca/files/2002_david_nibert_2.mp3" /]

    Sistah Vegan
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/203

  8. Lauren Says:

    On the MOVE: Interview with Ramona Africa
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/279

    Vegan Hip Hop Movement
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/kevin_tillman

    Corman, L. (2001, May). Ecofeminism and animal rights: A conversation with Greta Gaard. [Interview]. http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_2.mp3" /]
    (This is a really old interview! I think I’ve gotten better over the years!)

  9. Lauren Says:

    Corman, L. (2001, May). Ecofeminism and animal rights: A conversation with Greta Gaard. [Interview]. http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_2.mp3" /]
    (This is a really old interview! I think I’ve gotten better over the years!)

    Plants, Pornography, and Sex Work (Oh My!)
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/78

    Indigenous Traditionalist and Earth Warrior, Rod Coronado
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/132

    And, of course, the VOC interview!🙂
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/johanna_joselle

    There’s a bunch more available through the Animal Voices archive online, and many non-Western perspectives.

  10. Lauren Says:

    Corman, L. (2001, May). Ecofeminism and animal rights: A conversation with Greta Gaard. [Interview]. http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_1.mp3
    [audio src="http://animalvoices.ca/audio/20010531_greta_gaard_2.mp3" /]
    (This is a really old interview! I think I’ve gotten better over the years!)

    Plants, Pornography, and Sex Work (Oh My!)
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/78

  11. Lauren Says:

    Indigenous Traditionalist and Earth Warrior, Rod Coronado
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/132

    And, of course, the VOC interview!🙂
    http://www.animalvoices.ca/shows/johanna_joselle

    There’s a bunch more available through the Animal Voices archive online, and many non-Western perspectives.

  12. Lauren Says:

    Also, just read this The Aboriginal Animal Rights/Land Rights Pact: Uncle Max Interviewed http://www.abolitionist-online.com/interview-issue04_aboriginal.animal.land.rights-uncle.max.shtml

  13. Royce Says:

    Hey Lauren,

    This list is fantastic! I started to wonder if I should have asked you to email this, but then I realized that there’s no reason to deprive others of this list.

    Thanks again,
    Royce

  14. Lauren Says:

    Hi Royce,

    No problem — my pleasure!

    Cheers,
    Lauren

  15. adam Says:

    Royce, here are some readings and resources I have found useful in terms of animal studies [but I see Lauren has beaten me to many of them! :)]:

    The Dreaded Comparison (Marjorie Spiegel 1996) in which the treatment of blacks in the Antebellum South is juxtaposed to the 20th century treatment of nonhuman animals.

    The Postcolonial Animal (Philip Armstrong 2002) on the intersection between postcolonial and animal studies

    Primate Visions (Donna Haraway 1989) on the construction of race, gender, and humanity through discourse within anthropology and primatology

    Race Nation and Class (Etienne Balibar 1991) on the intersection between nationalism, race science, and speciesism

    Animal Geographies (Wolch and Emel 1998) on ethnocentric, dehumanizing, racist discourses by animal welfarists and deep acologists

    Nature’s Body (Londa Schiebinger 2004) on the construction of race,gender, and sexuality through the biological sciences in modern/colonial times

    “Tools for Cross Cultural Feminist Ethics” (Greta Gaard 2001) writings on the Makah Whale hunt, queer studies, vegetarianism and other intersectionality in the context of environmental and feminist thought

    RESOURCES
    Animals Reader (Linda Kalof 2006) the best collection of seminal works in animal studies
    Animal Studies Bibliography an extensive list of works in animal studies
    H-AS syllabus exchange a great way to learn about professors in non-H-AS programs teaching courses as well as find interesting readings
    H-Net Animal the best site to my knowledge to communicate with other animal studies scholars
    Critical Animal Studies the animal advocacy faction of animal studies who focus on the political-economy of animal oppression
    Humanimalia is a new journal that is scheduled to start publishing some incredible animal studies papers this fall

    PROGRAMS
    Michigan State probably the best animal studies program in the US
    New Zealand Center for Human-Animal Studies one of the best animal studiesprograms in the world
    Brock University a really unique program that has only become utlra super awesome now that Lauren has been hired
    Humane Society University is a new program with the best roster of animal studies faculty
    Tufts University I’ve read has a nice interdisciplinary animal studies program
    University of North Texas has an environmental philosophy program which may not have any animal studies courses, but is very interdisciplinaryand is the best program of its kind in the world with concentrations in Latin American philosophy/conservation, Environmental Justice, and Food philosophy etc. (and the faculty are very well-versed in the field)

  16. jillian Says:

    Lauren — This is a great list. Thank you.

    Out of curiosity, does anyone actually have that Satya magazine article? I read it a while ago, thought it was awesome, but haven’t been able to find it since the magazine went under.

  17. Lauren Says:

    Hi Jillian,

    You’re welcome. I’ve been trying to find the Satya article online again, too. Here’s what I found, but it’s not part of the official Satya site (It appears that their online archive is no more??):

    http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache%3Ah5fQuvk9rnsJ%3Ahomepage.mac.com%2FWebObjects%2FFileSharing.woa%2Fwa%2FRacism_and_the_Animal_Rights_Movement_.pdf.pdf-zip.zip%3Fa%3DdownloadFile%26user%3Dsistahvegan98%26path%3DSites%2FRacism%2520and%2520the%2520Animal%2520Rights%2520Movement%2520.pdf+hamanaka+racism+in+the+animal+rights+movement&hl=en

    I also interviewed Kwan and Hamanaka about the article and the topic. That interview can be found here:

    http://www.animalvoices.ca/node/55

  18. Erica Says:

    Hello,

    I was actually looking for programs in Animal Studies when I stumbled across the VoC website! I am an undergrad at California College of the Arts and I was looking for a place to maybe take a class during summer. Have you heard of this place? Institute for Critical Animal Studies http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/

    I’m not sure what they have as far as classes, but it may be worth checking out. Good luck and post if you find any other programs!

  19. indo Says:

    great lists….

    i don’t think anyone mentioned the book japanimals or the work of deborah bird rose, especially “what if the angel of history was a dog?”

    i also have a recent article: neel ahuja, “postcolonial critique in a multispecies world,” pmla march 2009


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