“Love and Other Injustices: On Humans, Animals, and Indifference to Difference”
Naisargi Dave, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto
Thursday, March 5, 6:00 PM, Putah Creek Lodge
Animal activists in India, as elsewhere, are often referred to as “animal lovers.” Many wear the moniker with pride, and others, with apathy—they just want to go about their work, whatever you call them. But the conflation of ethics with love has deep significance epistemologically and politically. One, what does it mean to “love” “animals?” Animal is a category, a vague and impermanent one like any, and so what is it to represent one of loving in generality? It is, I think, to suggest that one is in fact not capable of love at all, that one loves classes instead of the idiosyncratic specificity that is at the heart of intimacy, and thus of modern subjectivity. The assumed centrality of love to labor on behalf of animals also moves that labor out from the realm of reason and into that of sense (not as in common sense, which is just another term for reason, but as in the other to rationality) and in so doing vacates animal ethics of the normative and the immanent, leaving it as no ethics at all because it is only precisely idiosyncratic (“there can be no rules to blindly follow, nor any requirement to openness in how I treat an animal other, because I either love animals, or I don’t”). This paper is in part an analysis of what it means and what it does to conflate ethics with love and, therein, is a critique of the politics of care. But I am also interested in tracing the relationship in animal politics between love and ahimsa: the latter, a practice of indifference and the former, a politics of distinction. I argue in this paper for another kind of ethic—indifference to difference— drawing from my fieldwork with animal activists and their interlocutors in India.
Thursday, November 20, 3:30 PM, 126 Voorhies
Animal Skins and Human Selves in Medieval Bestiaries: sarah_kay_final
Sarah Kay, Professor of French, New York University
(Hosted by UC Davis Department of English)
May 13, 2014
Animal Philosophy Symposium, 1-4 PM, 126 Voorhies Hall
Matthew Calarco: Being-toward-meat: Anthropocentrism, Indistinction, and Veganism
Andrew Fenton: Title TBD (via Skype)
Jennifer Eagan: Being a Good Animal: Expanding Our Political Imaginations
Robert C. Jones: Animal Rights is a Social Justice Issue
Moderated by Roberta L. Millstein, Professor of Philosophy, UC Davis.
Event will not only feature these top thinkers in contemporary philosophy, but will also seek to broaden intellectual community across California university structure by highlighting CSU system strengths in Animal Philosophy. Discussion also of relevance and breadth of animal studies in general undergraduate education en route to multiple service and professional settings. Some speakers will participate via carbon-minimal discussion format. Sponsored by the Departments of Philosophy and English, UC Davis.
Event coordinator: Elizabeth Crachiolo
Questions about this event may be sent to Ted Geier (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Elizabeth Crachiolo (email@example.com)
December 4, 2013: Dr. Marianna Norring, University of Helsinki
Dr. Norring, a visiting researcher in the Professor Cassandra Tucker Lab at UC Davis, will give a talk entitled “Empathy for Cows? Behavioral signs of their pain and veterinarians’ perspectives on it.” Dr. Norring is part of a pathbreaking UC Davis research group investigating animal welfare in the dairy industry. Introductory Remarks by Lynette Hart, Professor of Population Health & Reproduction, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
April 19, 2013: Frans de Waal Roundtable on The Humanism Question
Dr. de Waal will participate in a roundtable discussion with past and present faculty members of the Interdisciplinary Animal Studies Research Cluster/Group Jerrold Tannenbaum (Law & Veterinary Medicine) and Roberta Millstein (Philosophy), with UC Davis Ecology Researcher Karl Frost. Moderated by Parama Roy (English). Introductory Remarks by Juliana Schiesari, Professor of Comparative Literature & Italian, UC Davis. Free and open to the public.