Critical Animal Studies

Interesting opportunity for all you animal theory heads out there …

Special Issue of JAC
Human-Animal Relation

In the context of the widespread intoxication with digital technology, JAC plans a special issue that reconsiders what Jacques Derrida calls “the question of the animal.” As we become persuaded by the ways in which “human being” and human existence are forever altered by digital technologies, the animal question continues to reassert itself, challenging us to develop a more rigorous understanding of the myriad ways in which nonhuman animals historically have served to define what it means to be “human.”

We invite full-length theoretical articles that address a wide range of topics related to the animal question, especially the human-animal relation and its cultural, rhetorical, and political implications. We are particularly interested in articles that explore the various rhetorics at work in the representation of animals and the human-animal relationship in literature, film, and popular culture.

We are also interested in historical articles that examine the discourses of modernity, especially the interdependence of discourses of race and racism, patriarchy, heterosexism, colonialism, and animality. Also of interest are articles that examine the rhetorical function of animals in political discourse, postmodern art, philosophy, and poststructuralist theory.

Other topics of interest include the rhetoric of the animal rights movement, including recent legal efforts to define some species of animals as “persons”; the relation of animal cruelty to human violence against humans, including serial and mass murder, terrorism, and genocide; the history and practice of domestication as a rhetoric of domination; the cultural function of zoos in a postcolonial world; the rhetorical and political uses of anthropomorphism; the ethics and politics of  animal industries, especially factory farming and pet industries; and the complexities of our relationships with nonhuman animals and our ethical obligations to them.

Articles should be conceived as theoretical contributions both to the emerging interdisciplinary field of animal studies and to the interdisciplinary field of rhetorical theory, broadly conceived. We are not interested in sentimentalized personal narratives detached from scholarly and theoretical conversations about the human-nonhuman animal relation. JAC is an interdisciplinary theoretical journal devoted to the study of rhetoric, discourse, culture, and politics.
Deadline for submissions: August 1, 2009. Send inquiries and submissions to Lynn Worsham, Editor, JAC at; or to Campus Box 4240; Illinois State University; Normal, IL; 61790.

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