Where: Stockholm University, Sweden
When: 11/25/2015 – 11/27/2015
Deadline: September 20, 2015
More information: http://www.intergender.net/upcoming_courses.html
Historically, the subordination and oppression of animals and women has been facilitated and legitimated by the discursive and material linking of these two groups. The articulation of masculinity with “animality,” on the other hand, has carried very different connotations. This conceptual and political cleavage is organized by structures of power that traverse gender as well as species. For these reasons, gender studies served as a “model” for human-animal studies already when the latter was first established in the 1990s. This connection between the disciplines was further consolidated a decade later when critical animal studies were established in opposition to what was seen as a growing apolitical and academic “mainstreaming” tendency within human-animal studies. Critical animal studies are intellectually rooted in critical theory and its analyses of, and opposition to, different forms of oppression and marginalization. The analysis of power relations are central to critical animal studies: the interplay between androcentrism and anthropocentrism (as well as between sexism and speciesism); the gender coding of animal-exploiting practices such as hunting, butchering, milk and meat production (and consumption); and the sexist and speciesist effects of different linguistic and discursive strategies have all been in focus for gender-oriented researchers working in the field of critical animal studies. The interest in the relation between science and politics, the contestation of the border between research and activism, as well as a belief in the potential of theoretical work to effect social change are also common denominators between the fields. The encounter between gender studies and critical animal studies have also spawned its own repertoire of analytical concepts, such as the “absent referent” (Carol J. Adams), “carno-phallogocentrism” (Jacques Derrida), and “anthroparchy” (Erica Cudworth).
The course explores the intellectual content, theoretical strategies, and methodological tools that cut across and unite gender studies and critical animal studies as two overlapping dimensions of the same critical project for social change. Participants will analyze how the “animal issue” is articulated in gender theory and how theories of gender illuminate critical animal studies in turn. What modes of knowledge, subject positions, power relations, and practices of resistance are generated by this scientific cross-pollination? The students are encouraged to integrate the concepts, theories, and methods discussed during the course in their own research questions and projects.