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Defining Critical Animal Studies

An Intersectional Social Justice Approach for Liberation


Edited By Anthony J. Nocella II, John Sorenson, Kim Socha and Atsuko Matsuoka

This is the first book to define the philosophical and practical parameters of critical animal studies (CAS). Rooted in anarchist perspectives that oppose all systems of domination and authoritarianism, CAS both challenges anthropocentrism and presents animal liberation as a social justice movement that intersects with other movements for positive change. Written by a collection of internationally respected scholar-activists, each chapter expands upon the theory and practice underlying the total liberation approach, the roles of academics and activists, and the ten principles of CAS. With apolitical animal studies and exploitative animal research dominating higher education, this book offers a timely counter-narrative that demands the liberation of all oppressed beings and the environment. Defining Critical Animal Studies will interest educators, students, activists, community members, and policy makers seeking accessible theory that can be put into action.
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7 Radical Humility: Toward a More Holistic Critical Animal Studies Pedagogy Lauren Corman and Tereza Vandrovcová


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Radical Humility

Toward a More Holistic Critical Animal Studies Pedagogy

Lauren Corman and Tereza Vandrovcová

This chapter offers four primary contributions. First, we consider the relevance of intersectional theory and advocacy to Critical Animal Studies (CAS) pedagogy, and map some of the academic and activist approaches that inform the field, particularly animal ecofeminism and animal activism. (For a comprehensive overview of interdisciplinary fields that inform CAS, see Pedersen’s [2010] “Critical animal studies and education research: A background.”) In conjunction, we suggest some ways CAS can enhance its pedagogical techniques, which necessarily include the recognition of humans and nonhuman animals (or, said differently, humans and other animals) as teachers. We maintain that such recognition is vital for a more non-anthropocentric, anti-speciesist, and holistic pedagogy.

Second, we highlight the research and activism of Barbara Smuts and Sharon Núñez, respectively, as exemplary of how pedagogy can include nonhuman animals. Such experiential knowledge has the potential to influence not only how we conceive of the subjectivities of animals in our immediate contexts, but also how we think of other nonhuman animals, including those in factory farms and vivisection laboratories, where face-to-face encounters are less common for the majority of people.

Third, we address a pressing question raised by numerous educators who teach about animal exploitation: How do we navigate the challenges of showing graphic images? We explore possible strategies for the presentation and discussion of these materials, particularly...

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