Response to Placing Animals

I very much enjoy this book thus far. About half way through this work and I can see the massive amount of thought and work that is viable to trace through it. So far, I have three topics I am interested in:

ALTERITY: I have encountered the idea of alterity before in some of my other Geography courses, and yet I had never considered the voice of non-human agents within such. Alterity is the hidden voices of the oppressed, the histories of those subjugated or repressed by capital “History”, or modernity. I have often though about the way in which human agents have been affected by a praxis of violence, but never had I considered the non-human component to the structuring of our world, and the implications of an “animal voice” in in geopolitics.

A HISTORY ANIMAL STUDIES: Animal studies interestingly enough parallel the conversations and development of critical colonial studies, women and gender studies, and race studies. Yet, the placing of an animal as an object has continued in the United States and around the globe in a way that is quite explicit. Women and racial minorities are often time still placed as objects, as without subjectivity, or as passive recipients of culture, but this happens mainly in a way that is implicit and hidden. Our society is not post-racial or post-gender in any significant ways but we have at least entered the idea of egalitarianism into the psyche of a portion of the populace. In contrast, the explicit placing of animals (which have unique life experiences) as objects continues to this day. Their voices are silent. But this is not just due to a language barrier.

THE WAY ANIMALS DO WORK ON HUMAN BODIES: Animals have impacts upon the body of individuals, and upon the landscape. I do not want to get into a rant here, but this has interesting implications within NRT (Non-Representational Theory) or “More-that-textual” accounts of life and experience.

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