Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rodopi Critical Animal Studies: Women, Destruction, and the Avant-Garde

The Rodopi Critical Animal Studies book series has its first book coming out, and it looks awesome (I particularly like the cover. In particular the CAS1 on the side. If I could rename my blog, it would probably be CAS0). According to Amazon, it is in stock, and ready to ship (who says us anarchistic, anti-capitalist CAS people don't understand the importance of the holiday shopping period?). Who out there is planning on being CAS2? 3? 4? Infinity? (CAS\infty is the other thing I would rename my blog).

Anyway, I haven't had a chance to read the book yet (review copy, anyone?), but I know several people who have, and by all accounts the first book is unique and exciting. Check it out.

Women, Destruction, and the Avant-Garde: A Paradigm for Animal Liberation

By: Kim Socha
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2012, XIV, 258 pp.
Pb: 978-90-420-3423-5
€ 54 / US$ 81



This interdisciplinary study fuses analysis of feminist literature and manifestos, radical political theory, critical vanguard studies, women’s performance art, and popular culture to argue for the animal liberation movement as successor to the liberationist visions of the early twentieth-century avant-gardes, most especially the Surrealists. These vanguard groups are judiciously critiqued for their refusal to confront their own misogyny, a quandary that continues to plague animal activists, thereby disallowing for cohesion and full recognition of women’s value within a culturally marginalized cause.

This volume is of interest to anyone who is concerned about the continued—indeed, escalating—violence against nonhumans. More broadly, it will interest those seeking new pathways to challenge the dominant power constructions through which oppression of humans, nonhumans, and the environment thrives. Women, Destruction, and the Avant-Garde ultimately poses the animal liberation movement as having serious political and cultural implications for radical social change, destruction of hierarchy and for a world without shackles and cages, much as the Surrealists envisioned.



Foreword – Helena Pedersen and Vasile Stanescu: Series Editor’s Introduction: What is “Critical” about Animal Studies? From the Animal “Question” to the Animal “Condition”


Introduction: Rooting for the Avant-Garde

I. Avant-Garde Women Writers and Destruction in the Flesh

II. Staring Back in the Flesh: Avant-Garde Performance as an ALM Paradigm

III. Convulsive Beauty, Infinite Spheres and Irrational Reasons: Reverie on a New Consciousness

Conclusion: Love and Laughter Now: Plucking at Stems or Uprooting Oppression?

Works Cited


Kim Socha is an animal activist and sits on the board of the Animal Rights Coalition in Minneapolis, MN. Holding a Ph.D. in English Literature and Criticism, she works as a composition and literature instructor with publications in the areas of surrealism, Latino literature and pedagogy.