Thursday, July 17, 2014

Forthcoming Titles in Animal Studies

EDIT: You probably want to check out at Adam's blog a list of Critical Animal Studies books, most recently published.

Before I get to the forthcoming part, here are two very new titles in animal studies.

Carol Adams and Lori Gruen's edited volume on Ecofeminism. I know most of the authors in this volume, and I promise you this is an important book to get. The philosophical importance of ecofeminism is being reevaluated, and this book is a major argument for its importance.

Gandio and Nocella's The Terrorization of Dissent is an important work in analyzing all the ways that resistance to the animal-industrial complex has been turned into terrorism (includes an essay by my brother).

Now, on to the forthcoming proper list (these books are listed by upcoming publication dates).

If you know the work of Cynthia Willett, then you already know to be excited about any forthcoming work from her. Interspecies Ethics (due out in August), looks to be no exception.
Interspecies Ethics explores animals’ vast capacity for agency, justice, solidarity, humor, and communication across species. The social bonds diverse animals form provide a remarkable model for communitarian justice and cosmopolitan peace, challenging the human exceptionalism that drives modern moral theory. Situating biosocial ethics firmly within coevolutionary processes, this volume has profound implications for work in social and political thought, contemporary pragmatism, Africana thought, and continental philosophy. Interspecies Ethics develops a communitarian model for multispecies ethics, rebalancing the overemphasis on competition in the original Darwinian paradigm by drawing out and stressing the cooperationist aspects of evolutionary theory through mutual aid. The book’s ethical vision offers an alternative to utilitarian, deontological, and virtue ethics, building its argument through rich anecdotes and clear explanations of recent scientific discoveries regarding animals and their agency. Geared toward a general as well as a philosophical audience, the text illuminates a variety of theories and contrasting approaches, tracing the contours of a postmoral ethics.

Also in August, is  Wahida Khandker's (very expensive) Philosophy, Animality, and Life Sciences. I wish it wasn't so pricey, because it sounds very interesting:
A study of pathological concepts of animal life in Continental philosophy from Bergson to Haraway. Using animals for scientific research is a highly contentious issue that Continental philosophers engaging with ‘the animal question’ have been rightly accused of shying away from. Now, Wahida Khandker asks, can Continental approaches to animality and organic life make us reconsider our treatment of non-human animals? By following its historical and philosophical development, Khandker argues that the concept of 'pathological life' as a means of understanding organic life as a whole plays a pivotal role in refiguring the human-animal distinction. Looks at the assumptions underpinning about debates about science and animals, and our relation to non-human animals. Analyses the relation between the purpose and limitations of research in the life sciences and the concepts of animality and organic life that the sciences have historically employed. Explores the significance of key thinkers such as Bergson, Canguilhem, Foucault and Haraway, and opens up the complex and difficult writings of Alfred North Whitehead on this subject. 
There is an interview between the author and series editor, that can be found here.

EDIT: Thanks to Steven Shaviro for alerting to me this exciting anthology edited by Patricia MacCormack, with the kindle edition out, paperback out in August-- The Animal Catalyst.

Brian Massumi has been a central thinker in promoting a non-anthropocentric philosophy, being an early thinker in assemblage theory and affect theory, Massumi is following this work up with What Animals Teach Us about Politics, due out in September.
In What Animals Teach Us about Politics, Brian Massumi takes up the question of "the animal." By treating the human as animal, he develops a concept of an animal politics. His is not a human politics of the animal, but an integrally animal politics, freed from connotations of the "primitive" state of nature and the accompanying presuppositions about instinct permeating modern thought. Massumi integrates notions marginalized by the dominant currents in evolutionary biology, animal behavior, and philosophy—notions such as play, sympathy, and creativity—into the concept of nature. As he does so, his inquiry necessarily expands, encompassing not only animal behavior but also animal thought and its distance from, or proximity to, those capacities over which human animals claim a monopoly: language and reflexive consciousness. For Massumi, humans and animals exist on a continuum. Understanding that continuum, while accounting for difference, requires a new logic of "mutual inclusion." Massumi finds the conceptual resources for this logic in the work of thinkers including Gregory Bateson, Henri Bergson, Gilbert Simondon, and Raymond Ruyer. This concise book intervenes in Deleuze studies, posthumanism, and animal studies, as well as areas of study as wide-ranging as affect theory, aesthetics, embodied cognition, political theory, process philosophy, the theory of play, and the thought of Alfred North Whitehead.

Corbey and Lanjouw's important edited anthology, The Politics of Species, has an affordable paperback edition out in September.

Another edited anthology in September is Moore and Kearns's Divinanimality: Animal Theory, Creaturely Theology.
A turn to the animal is underway in the humanities, most obviously in such fields as philosophy, literary studies, cultural studies, and religious studies. One important catalyst for this development has been the remarkable body of animal theory issuing from such thinkers as Jacques Derrida and Donna Haraway. What might the resulting interdisciplinary field, commonly termed animality studies, mean for theology, biblical studies, and other cognate disciplines? Is it possible to move from animal theory to creaturely theology? This volume is the first full-length attempt to grapple centrally with these questions. It attempts to triangulate philosophical and theoretical reflections on animality and humanity with theological reflections on divinity. If the animal human distinction is being rethought and retheorized as never before, then the animal human divine distinctions need to be rethought, retheorized, and retheologized along with it. This is the task that the multidisciplinary team of theologians, biblical scholars, philosophers, and historians assembled in this volume collectively undertakes. They do so frequently with recourse to Derrida's animal philosophy and also with recourse to an eclectic range of other relevant thinkers, such as Haraway, Giorgio Agamben, Emmanuel Levinas, Gloria Anzaldua, Helene Cixous, A. N. Whitehead, and Lynn White Jr. The result is a volume that will be essential reading for religious studies audiences interested in ecological issues, animality studies, and posthumanism, as well as for animality studies audiences interested in how constructions of the divine have informed constructions of the nonhuman animal through history.

Speaking of edited volumes, Eben Kirksey has an interesting, if not strickly animal studies, work coming out in October, The Multispecies Salon.
A new approach to writing culture has arrived: multispecies ethnography. Plants, animals, fungi, and microbes appear alongside humans in this singular book about natural and cultural history. Anthropologists have collaborated with artists and biological scientists to illuminate how diverse organisms are entangled in political, economic, and cultural systems. Contributions from influential writers and scholars, such as Dorion Sagan, Karen Barad, Donna Haraway, and Anna Tsing, are featured along with essays by emergent artists and cultural anthropologists. Delectable mushrooms flourishing in the aftermath of ecological disaster, microbial cultures enlivening the politics and value of food, and emergent life forms running wild in the age of biotechnology all figure in to this curated collection of essays and artefacts. Recipes provide instructions on how to cook acorn mush, make cheese out of human milk, and enliven forests after they have been clear-cut. The Multispecies Salon investigates messianic dreams, environmental nightmares, and modest sites of biocultural hope.
There is also a related website with this volume, found here.

If I have missed any forthcoming books, please let me know. If you are a publisher interested in my reviewing your book on my blog, please feel free to contact me at