Tuesday, 4 December 2007

animal studies vs studying animals and a little activism pt. 1

Last year at the Popular Culture Association (PCA) conference I picked up an anthology call The Animals Reader, but it wasn't until these past few weeks that I actually had a chance to begin to read it. Its selections are often just mere snippets but the editors did a good job and each section includes a substantial list of suggestions for further reading.

A recent talk I attended (Jessica Carey, Ph.D. student in English and Cultural Studies - "Educating People with Respect to Animals: PETA and Public Pedagogy") provided another nudge in the right direction and led to some much appreciated discussion.
[If you're not sure what critical pedagogy is (I had only a glimmering myself), check out the Critical Pedagogy Project.]
Jessica analyzed some of the problems with PETA's attempts at public education while pointing out some of structural obstactles that the animal rights movement in general faces in its efforts to engage other humans in dialogue about the ethical treatment of animals.

Another inspiration came from an art exhibit catalogue one of my professors loaned me.
Becoming Animal: Contemporary Art in the Animal Kingdom took place at MASS MoCA in 2005 and featured 12 internationally known artists investigating the shifting boundaries between animal and human. I'm particularly mesmerized right now by Sam Easterson's video camera-wearing critters.

the more I learn the less I realize I know...

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