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Race, Science, Gender, and Species

FGSS 330
Spring 2018
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: SISP 330
Course Cluster: Animal Studies

What does it mean to be human or animal? How are these socially constructed lines drawn, redrawn, enforced, and contested? How are categorizations and contestations surrounding humanity and animality a concern for feminist scholars? How does critical theory help us to understand the (at times) uneasy intersections--or "dangerous crossings," as Claire Jean Kim calls them--where race, species, gender, and theories of science intersect to formulate ideas about humanity and animality? What theoretical and practical possibilities arise from exploring these overlapping taxonomies of power?

This course explores these questions, engaging in an ongoing conversation about how theories of science and law shape ideas about race, gender, and species. We will consider human and animal bodies in science and medicine. We interrogate how the human is a site of political contestation, articulated through colonial and racialized processes that render some lives human/subhuman/nonhuman within hierarchies of power and exclusion. Central to this uneven rendering of what it means to be human is the way law and legal processes criminalize and racialize human beings, and sustain anthropocentrism. Informed by these literatures, we move into exploring the possibilities and limits of posthumanism, with a particular emphasis on work that aims to decolonize posthumanist theory.

Within these theoretical frameworks, we move into thinking about the boundaries of the human/animal body; the politics of being and becoming in multispecies worlds; how fraught cultural and political cases where race and species intersect are negotiated; what the "feral" can add to these entanglements of race, species, and gender; the intertwining logics of species, colonialism, and empire; and how different ways of being embodied can inform a politics of multispecies care. We will conclude our work together for the semester with a collectively curated selection of readings, to be determined by our seminar.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS FGSS
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (FGSS)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
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