Lectures

Life/NonLife: a forum

This Somatosphere forum features essays written in the wake of a debate held at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The debate was organized around the following motion: “Lacking empirical traction and heuristic power, the distinction between life and nonlife is one that anthropology needs to discard.” We hope …

Books

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s “The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins”

tsingcoverThe Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Princeton University Press, 2015, 352 pages

Yeah. What a nice book. Thank goodness there are feminists at the controls as we enter the ecological—which is to say, truly post-modern (note the hyphen) era. This is a profoundly nonviolent, and therefore …

Books

Cynthia Willett’s Interspecies Ethics

9780231167765Interspecies Ethics

by Cynthia Willett

2014, Columbia University Press, 220 pages

 

In Interspecies Ethics Willett confronts a thorny issue head-on: what would a non-anthropocentric ethics look like in practice? This question has been grappled with by thinkers from a range of conceptual perspectives, from posthumanism (e.g. Cary Wolfe, Rosi Braidotti) and feminist science studies (Donna Haraway, Isabelle Stengers, Vinciane …

Features

Multispecies vs Anthropocene

northumberland bestiary detail small

An earlier version of this post first appeared on the author’s site, Aesop’s Anthropology.

What just happened in Anthropology? In the 2013 annual meeting there were zero abstracts or paper or panel titles featuring the word “Anthropocene”; this year there were 64! Compare that with “multispecies,” which has held steady at between 16-23 invocations after it first made its appearance …

Books

Élisabeth de Fontenay’s Without Offending Humans

Without Offending Humans - Cover

Without Offending Humans: A Critique of Animal Rights

by Élisabeth de Fontenay (trans. William Bishop)

University of Minnesota Press, 2012, 168 pages.

 

In the opening paragraph of Without Offending Humans, Élisabeth de Fontenay describes the first time she saw her mentor Jacques Derrida speak at the Collège de philosophie:

I reacted, all things being relative, as Malebranche did