Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal

Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal

Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal

Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal

Excerpt

This collection sets its sights on what is perhaps the central problematic for contemporary culture and theory, particularly if theory is understood as centrally engaged in addressing a social, technological, and cultural context that is now in some inescapable sense posthuman, if not quite posthumanist. Many of the leading theorists of the past three decades have devoted considerable attention to the question of the animal under a variety of figures or themes: Julia Kristeva in Powers of Horror and Strangers to Ourselves (the abject, ethnicity); Jacques Derrida in a host of texts from Of Spirit to Glas, The Post Card, and essays such as “Eating Well” and “Force of Law” (the sacrificial symbolic economies of “carnophallogocentrism”); Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus, Kafka: The Question of a Minor Literature, and elsewhere (becoming-animal, the critique of Freud and of psychoanalysis); Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek in any number of texts ranging from Lacan’s seminars and Écrits to Žižek’s Enjoy Your Symptom! and Looking Awry (the Thing, the Real, monstrosity); Stanley Cavell’s The Claim of Reason (“skeptical terror of the other”); Georges Bataille in Theory of Religion and Visions of Excess and René Girard in Violence and the Sacred (animal sacrifice, the socius and the sacred); bell hooks in Black Looks, Michael Taussig in Mimesis and Alterity, and Étienne Balibar in his collection with Immanuel Wallerstein, Race, Nation, and Class (the relation of animality . . .

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