The “human” is a historically constructed category with political and social agency, and in Western science and culture sets up a hierarchical distinction from other animals and forms of life. In this process of differentiation, animality has been racialized, and used as a means of limiting freedom and protections to members of humankind that threaten a fantasy of white superiority. How do these hierarchies and distinctions persist in the shaping of policy and social relations? How might thinking across species reveal new opportunities for liberation work across different forms of oppression wrought by racism, sexism, ableism, imperialism, and capitalism? And, thinking beyond the animal, how might we turn to other forms of interspecies connections and multi-species agencies to recalibrate the meaning of the human for survival on our damaged planet?
Add your response to the conversation and read community responses to all three questions.
Black and white photo of Colin Dayan
Colin Dayan
English, Vanderbilt University
Black and white photo of Candice Lin
Photo by Georgia Arnold
Candice Lin
Black and white photo of María Elena García
María Elena García
Associate Professor, Comparative History of Ideas
Black and white photo of Radhika Govindrajan
Radhika Govindrajan
Associate Professor, Anthropology
Black and white photo of Phillip Thurtle
Phillip Thurtle
Professor, Comparative History of Ideas
Black and white photo of Joanne Woiak
Joanne Woiak
Lecturer, Disability Studies
View a recording of the online roundtable that took place on December 3, 2020, with Dr. Colin Dayan, Dr. Radhika Govindrajan, Dr. Phillip Thurtle, and Dr. Joanne Woiak.