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Species MattersHumane Advocacy and Cultural Theory$
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Michael Lundblad and Marianne DeKoven

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152839

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152839.001.0001

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Humane Advocacy and the Humanities

Humane Advocacy and the Humanities

The Very Idea

(p.27) 2 Humane Advocacy and the Humanities
Species Matters

Cary Wolfe

Columbia University Press

This chapter argues for a theoretically informed posthumanism for which humane advocacy is tainted by its rootedness in an unspoken but foundational separation of humans from other animals. The question of humane advocacy is a complex one, not least of all because advocacy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. That is to say, advocacy always takes place within a highly contingent, situated, and densely configured context, one that involves different constituencies, institutions, audiences, strategic considerations, and rhetorical necessities. The chapter examines animal rights and humane advocacy discourses and suggests that they are oversimplified and therefore misleading. Drawing on Jacques Derrida's work, it considers the role of the humanities within universities, and what constitutes the specific intellectual and perhaps even ethical and political charge of the humanities in a way that is different from the sciences, the social sciences, and technical training and expertise.

Keywords:   posthumanism, humane advocacy, humans, animals, animal rights, rhetoric, Jacques Derrida, humanities, universities

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