Contact: Rachel de Simone, Assistant Director of Residential Life, 865-5705, firstname.lastname@example.org
Champlain College Justice League
When and where: Monday, March 11, 2013 from 3:30 – 5 pm, Morgan Room
Eating Animals, Interlocking Oppressions
Description: The idea of “intersectionality” or “interlocking oppressions” asks us to look not just at racism, sexism, or any other single form of inequality, but rather at the interaction between different forms of identity and marginalization. This idea has become increasingly influential in scholarship and social justice advocacy. Yet even as we begin to understand these new complexities, one boundary around conversations about justice tends to be left unquestioned: the boundary between human and non-human. This workshop is about non-human animals and justice. It is not a slideshow about the horrors of factory farming; rather, it explores the connections between how we think about the animals we eat and other issues of social justice: feminism, race, and genocide. Who is rational? Who is intelligent? Who feels pain, and who cannot? All of these categories are applied to animals on a daily basis, just as they historically have been to women, blacks, Native Americans, and many other groups. The workshop will introduce attendees to recent scholarship on the interlocking cultural objectification in which women are depicted as pieces of meat, meat is sold through images of available women, and meat-eating is the only way to be a “real man” (Carol Adams). It will also describe how racial ideologies and programs of extermination have often justified themselves by marking off certain people as animals (Joanna Bourke, Richard Rorty, Jonathan Safran Foer). The presentation concludes with a group discussion of an excerpt of Art Spiegelman’s award-winning graphic novel Maus, which makes the unexpected choice not to “humanize” Jewish Holocaust victims but rather to depict them in the animal form in which the Nazis described them: as rodents. The workshop will end with ample time for questions and discussion.