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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 Fifteen: “Where Is the Seat for the Buffalo?”: Placing Nonhuman Animals in the Idle No More Movement (Adam J. Fix)


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“Where Is the Seat for the Buffalo?”

Placing Nonhuman Animals in the Idle No More Movement




Within a social movement like Idle No More, which represents a great diversity of people, dominant narratives inevitably form. These narratives both guide the expectations of the movement and its members as well as simplify the movement’s message for external consumption. The great confluence of disparate elements that emerges, though necessary for communication and cooperation, can be seen as a kind of stereotype. The simplified narrative, carried within a cultural vehicle, is used to drive the adoption of shared goals across groups. Yet the narrative exists tenuously, subject to internal tension as much as agreement. “The reality is that [the Idle No More founders] are not qualified to speak out on behalf of people living in the tar sands, or the First Nation in B.C. […] or the people from Barriere Lake Algonquin Nation,” says Clayton Thomas-Muller of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “You can’t say any one group represents all First Nations in this country” (Plecash, 2013).

Just as the founders of the movement are not qualified to represent all other groups in an overarching Idle No More narrative, so too am I unqualified to present the ideology of Idle No More in such a fashion. Neither they nor I are aware of but a small percentage of the myriad intricacies...

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