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Event #1170

Reframing Genocide across Species Lines: Learning from Intersectional Approaches in Animal Studies (Keynote Address)

When: 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

11:00 - 12:15
(MT)
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Series:
Association events , Indigenous programming , Northern Relations
Language: 
English | anglais
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With financial support from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ International Keynote Speakers Support Fund

Keynote Address/Discours D’Ouverture

Reframing Genocide across Species Lines: Learning from Intersectional Approaches in Animal Studies

 

Susan McHugh (University of New England in Maine)

Chair: Belinda Kleinhans (Texas Tech University)

Provocative titles like Marjorie Spiegel’s The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery (1988) and Charles Patterson’s Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust (2002) indicate how analogical reasoning has long set advocates of human and animal rights at loggerheads, but not inevitably so. By refusing to reduce the experiences of the humans to a representation of animal life (or vice versa), new scholarship at the crossroads of animal studies and perpetrator studies provides more nuanced accounts, for instance, of the weaponizing of dogs in the Holocaust. More explicitly intersectional approaches complicate the situation further by accounting for BIPOC experiences of genocide, nowhere more clearly than in the stories of nomadic tribal peoples whose traditional human-animal relationships, so often sources of cultural strength, became points of weakness through settler colonialism. This talk illustrates what can be learned from narrating genocide across species lines through the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, the Indigenous-initiated and –administrated model for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, through which the question of why Inuit sled dogs disappeared in the mid-twentieth century led to the documentation of and eventual reckoning with cultural genocides. 

Susan McHugh is a Professor of English and an internationally renowned expert in literary theory, animal studies, and plant studies. She has published three authored monographs Human-animal Stories Against Extinction and Genocide (Penn State UP 2019), Animal Stories: Narrating across Species Lines (Minnesota UP 2011), recipient of the Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize; and Dog (Reaktion Books 2004), which has been translated into six other languages. She is Series Co-editor of Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature, Humanities Managing Editor for Society and Animals, and as Editorial Board Member to five other scholarly journals.

Speakers:
  • Susan McHugh, Professor of English, University of New England in Maine