Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Feminists Encountering Animals

Sorry for the silence here. My mother had surgery recently (she is fine, but still in the hospital), and that has been soaking almost all of my time.

As many of you know, I have a forthcoming article in Hypatia on Judith Butler and animals. I wrote an abstract, but I prefer the what Lori Gruen and Kari Weil say about in the introduction to the special issue:
What bodies are edible and consumable and what lives are grievable are questions that James Stanescu takes up at the meat counter of the grocery store at the beginning of his essay “Species Trouble:  Judith Butler, Mourning, and the Precarious Lives of Animals.”  From the insight that both social and personal pressures are operating in the disavowal of mourning for animals, Stanescu expands Butler’s notion of precariousness as “a way of thinking connections, of claiming kinship and relations. . . . Precariousness is a place for thinking the ethical because it begins with the Other, rather than with the self.” Recognition of vulnerability and of finitude, Stanescu argues, is recognition of our precarious animal lives, lives we honor through mourning. In disavowing mourning, we are not just making such lives unintelligible but are also denying our animality and foreclosing our connections to other animals.  By allowing ourselves to mourn, however, even at the grocery store, we can start making a difference for animals, humans and others.
The article is viewable in early view on the Wiley Hypatia site, but for those without institutional access, I have heard a rumor that you can find it over here.

However, from this special issue also arose a symposium, and it is very exciting. Much more importantly, you will be able to interact with the authors as well as read their papers! All of this starts on July 9th.You can find out who the authors are, and more details over here. And trust me, it is an exciting and amazing group of feminist scholars they have assembled. Assuming I can get some time for myself, I will certainly be participating both over there, and here as well. But regardless, you (YES, YOU!) should follow and participate.