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The Postcolonial Animal: Nature/Culture/Empire

Year of Funding: 

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.

 2014/15 Schedule

Fall 2014

  • October 3, 11:30-1:30 pm, Communications 202 - Lunch Meeting *for Research Cluster members only
  • October 23, 4:00-6:00 pm, Communications 120 - "Nervous Interfaces: Polio, Spinal Taps, and the Cold War Primate Trade," a public lecture by Neel Ahuja (English & Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina) 
  • October 24, 11:30-1:30 pm, Communications 202 - Lunch Workshop with Neel Ahuja *for Research Cluster members only 

Winter 2015

  • January 23, 11:30-1:30 pm, Communications 202 - Faculty/Graduate Student Colloquium
  • February 20, 11:30-1:30 pm, Communications 202 - Faculty/Graduate Student Colloquium 

Spring 2015

  • May 7, 4:00-6:00 pm, Communications 120 - "What’s in a Name? Levinas’s Canine Figures" by Carla Freccero (Literature, History of Consciousness, and Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz) 
  • May 8, 11:30-1:30 pm, UW Club Lake Washington Room - Lunch Workshop with Carla Freccero *for Research Cluster members only 
  • May 22, 11:30-1:30 pm, Communications 202 - Lunch Meeting *for Research Cluster members only 

Primary contact

María Elena García (Comparative History of Ideas and Jackson School for International Studies)


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