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Education for Total Liberation

Critical Animal Pedagogy and Teaching Against Speciesism

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Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II, Carolyn Drew, Amber E. George, Sinem Ketenci, John Lupinacci, Ian Purdy and Joe Leeson-Schatz

Education for Total Liberation is a collection of essays from leaders in the field of critical animal pedagogy (CAP). CAP emerges from activist educators teaching critical animal studies and is rooted in critical theory as well as the animal advocacy movement. Critical animal studies (CAS) argues for an interdisciplinary approach to understanding our relationships with nonhuman animals. CAS challenges two specific fields of theory: (1) animal studies, rooted in vivisection and testing on animals in the hard sciences and (2) human-animal studies, which reinforces a socially constructed binary between humans and animals and adopts abstract theoretical approaches. In contrast, CAS takes a progressive and committed approach to scholarship and sees the exploitation of nonhuman animals as interrelated with oppression of humans based on class, gender, race, ability, sexuality, age, and citizenship. CAS promotes the liberation of all animals and challenges all systems of domination. Education for Total Liberation is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate level readers (and beyond) who wish to learn from examples of radical pedagogical projects shaped by CAS and critical pedagogy.

Contributing to this collection are Anne C. Bell, Anita de Melo, Carolyn Drew, Amber E. George, Karin Gunnarsson Dinker, Sinem Ketenci, John Lupinacci, Anthony J. Nocella II, Sean Parson, Helena Pedersen, Ian Purdy, Constance L. Russell, J.L. Schatz, Meneka Repka, William E. Shanahan III, and Richard J, White.

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3. Critical Animal Pedagogy: Explorations Toward Reflective Practice (Karin Gunnarsson Dinker / Helena Pedersen)

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3.   Critical Animal Pedagogy: Explorations Toward Reflective Practice

KARIN GUNNARSSON DINKER AND HELENA PEDERSEN

Under Empire, the old Institutions are deteriorating one after the other in a cascade of apparatuses. What is happening, and what is the truly imperial mission, is the concerted demolition of each Institution into a multiplicity of apparatuses, into an arborescence of relative and unpredictable norms. The educational system, for example, no longer bothers to present itself as a coherent order. It is now but a hodgepodge of classes, schedules, subjects, buildings, departments, programs, and projects that are so many apparatuses meant to keep bodies immobilized. (Tiqqun 2011, pp. 201–202)

Introduction

Above, Tiqqun (2011) draws our attention to the increasingly fragmented and seemingly haphazard character of the education system in the 21st century. With this brief analysis in mind, our chapter asks what work critical animal pedagogy, as reflective and radical educational practice, can do in such an incoherent terrain?

Drawing on a long tradition of critical theoretical approaches to education (e.g., Giroux, 1981; hooks, 1981; Illich, 1970; McLaren & Kincheloe, 2007), we argue that education is not necessarily an inherent “common good,” offered for the benefit of public welfare. Rather, education actively (re)produces injustices and inequalities prevalent in other sectors in society. The education system is also a site of power struggles, since those who have power over education and educational processes (be it the church, the...

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