Animals and Race (The Animal Turn) (Paperback)
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The intersection of race and species has a long and problematic history. Western thinking specifically has demonstrated a societal need to try to conceive of race as a purely biological fact rather than a social construct. This book is an academic-activist challenge to that instinct, prioritizing anti-racism in its observation of the animal–race intersection. Too often, as Bénédicte Boisseron has indicated, this intersection typically appears in the form of animal activists instrumentalizing racial discrimination as a vehicle to approach animal rights. But why does this intersection exist, and, perhaps more importantly, how can we challenge it moving forward? This volume examines those two critical questions, taking an interdisciplinary approach in moving across subjects including art history, film studies, American history, and digital media analysis. Our interpretation of animals has, for centuries, been fundamental in the development of Western race thinking. This collection of essays looks at how this perspective contributes to the construction of racial discrimination, prioritizing ways to read the animal in our culture as a means for working to dismantle this conception.
About the Author
Jonathan W. Thurston-Torres received their PhD in English from Michigan State University, specializing in early modern literature, animal studies, and horror literature. Thurston-Torres was the recipient of a Newberry Library Fellowship and has been nominated for multiple queer literature awards.