Power and the Chthulucene


Power and the Chthulucene
Humanimal discussions at the intersections of gender, sexuality, ability, and race

Work within the multidisciplinary field of human-animal studies has over recent decades demonstrated how ‘the human’ is materially and discursively dependent on ‘non-humans’. This critical exploration of the ‘more-than-human’ has not been carried out in a vacuum but rather has been in conversation with wider debates regarding the intra-relational power made up by categories such as gender, sexuality, ability and race. Nevertheless, the relationship between human-animal studies’ centering of ’the question of the animal’ on one hand, and research conducted in the fields of gender and race studies on the other, has not always been an easy and uncontroversial one, but has sometimes been characterized by contradictory discourses. Today however, conversations and alliances across these theoretical and empirical registers seem ever more relevant as we seek to continue to (re)think gender, sexuality and race in multispecies contexts and to examine the critical potential to ‘queer the human’ and thereby explore possible pasts, presents and futures.

In her critique of the term Anthropocene Donna Haraway (2016) reminds us that current forms of humanism that have been created through the Capitalocene are built through and on economies of extraction, circulation, simplification and exploitation that displace and threaten people, animals and ecologies and consolidate capital and power. The Anthropocene she argues is an unsatisfactory descriptor of our current situation in that it mis-names the culprit (global capital), hides its condition (multispecies co-dependence) and the distribution of risk, and closes down the possibilities for thinking about futures. Haraway, therefore offers the alternative framework Chthulucene as made up of ‘ongoing multispecies stories and practices of becoming with in times that remain at stake, in precarious times in which the world is not yet finished’ (2016:11).

In the spirit of this theoretical and political move, this symposium presents theoretical and/or empirically grounded papers that examine how human-animal studies might collaborate with, engage, and inform critical research on issues of race, gender, ability and sexuality. Together we examine shared issues, question what separates us, and explore how we can combine our knowledges to contribute to the struggle against violence, discrimination and injustice.

The symposium takes place on April 6-7, 2017, at Museum Gustavianum, Uppsala. The cost for participation is 200 SEK which includes lunch on the 7th and coffee on both days. If one wants to participate in the dinner on the evening of the 6th, it is 450 SEK extra (650 SEK total). Register no later than March 15th, 2017. However, please note that the number of places are limited, therefore it is better to register sooner.

If you have questions please contact us by e-mail.