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Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies

A Historical Collection


Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II and Amber E. George

Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection represents the very best that the internationally scholarly Journal for Critical Animal Studies (JCAS) has published in terms of articles that are written by public critical scholar-activists-organizers for public critical scholar-activists-organizers. This move toward publishing pieces about engaging social change, rather than high-theoretical detached analysis of nonhuman animals in society, is to regain focus for liberation at all costs. The essays in this collection focus on intersectionality scholarship within the realm of Critical Animal Studies, and discuss issues related to race, gender, disability, class, and queerness. Not only are these articles historically significant within the field of Critical Animal Studies, but they are integral to the overall social justice movement. Intersectionality of Critical Animal Studies: A Historical Collection should be read by anyone interested in the Critical Animal Studies field, as we consider them to be classic writings that should be respected as foundational texts. There are many interesting and innovative texts, but these are historical, not only because they were published in JCAS, but because they were among the first to publish on a particular intersectional issue.

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Chapter Five: Intersectionality and the Nonhuman Disabled Body: Challenging the Neocapitalist Techno-scientific Reproduction of Ableism and Speciesism (Zachary Richter)


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Intersectionality and the Nonhuman Disabled Body

Challenging the Neocapitalist Techno-scientific Reproduction of Ableism and Speciesism



In Wolbring’s “Ableism and Energy Security and Insecurity (2010),” the author advances a relationship between disability studies and critical animal research which privileges ableism as being formative of speciesism. He states: “Ableism leads to an ability-based and ability-justified understanding of…one’s body and one’s relationship with others of one’s species, other species and one’s environment” (2010, p. 14). Wolbring ably notes that such a relationship exists; however, he errs in the assumption that said relationship is merely one-sided. The subject positions of disability and nonhumanity are codependent. The tension in Wolbring’s (2010) attempt to assimilate critical animal research within an expanded disability studies frame can be resolved through an intersectional approach. The feminist concept of intersectionality is useful for understanding this codependence because it provides a framework for viewing disability and species oppression as interrelated and parallel.

Intersectional theorizing has been less successful, however, at locating and addressing the moments in which oppressive systems do not separate, but are justified by the same reasoning. Marxian criticism fills this theoretical gap through its successful macro-level analysis of the historical fluctuations of the capitalist system. In his introduction to The Global Industrial Complex, Best (2011) fills this gap, highlighting how “the rationalization, quantification and abstraction processes of science…[are] paralleled in dynamics unleashed by capitalism in which...

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