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Education for Total Liberation

Critical Animal Pedagogy and Teaching Against Speciesism


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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5. Teaching to End Human Supremacy↔Learning to Recognize Equity in All Species (John Lupinacci)


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5.   Teaching to End Human Supremacy↔Learning to Recognize Equity in All Species


The stakes are high, and the capacity of the planet for sustaining life depends upon future generations learning to live in harmony and at peace with the diverse ecosystems within which they reside. In this chapter, I set out dialogically to invite you—the reader—into a conversation of sorts that seeks to mimic the pedagogical process I enact each time I teach. An activist-teacher from Detroit—now rooted with my family in Eastern Washington, I am an equity scholar-activist-educator. I work in teacher education where I teach folks who work, or will work, in schools or their communities to critically and ethically consider the importance of a culturally relevant and empowering education for every child. Whether I’m teaching a course on elementary social studies methods or courses on sociology of education and cultural studies in education, I do so with explicit objectives that students learn to rethink—and in many cases (un)learn—the role anthropocentrism (and the closely associated human-male-white-ableist supremacy) plays in how they understand and value relationships—especially teaching and learning. With strong influences from anarchism, critical pedagogy, and an ecojustice framework, I work to value the voices and lived-experiences of each student in all my teaching; but it’s far from “anything goes.” I invite students to think differently and to consider, and value, the different thinking of their peers. Furthermore,...

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