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The Cultural Politics of Eradication, talk by Fiona Probyn-Rapsey

The Cultural Politics of Eradication, talk by Fiona Probyn-Rapsey

24.01.2020

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Professor Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, from Wollongong University (Australia), was the guest speaker at the Critical Animal and Media Studies course on 23 January 2020. Professor Probyn-Rapsey talked about the Cultural Politics of Eradication in Australia.

In a time of mass species extinctions, where species are ‘going extinct’ at an unprecedented rate, the word extinction and the phrase ‘going extinct’ seem ill-equipped to account for both the level of catastrophe but also the cultural politics that surround extinction events. Rather than showing how species ‘go extinct’ (as if they take themselves there), professor Probyn-Rapsey discussed how mobilizing the rhetoric of extinction obscures the cultural politics of eradication that forms the terrain on which extinctions are pronounced. Instead, a cultural politics of eradication draws attention to the beliefs and practices that have to be in place in order for a species to be rendered eradicable. The talk outlined what a cultural politics of eradication looks like in the Australian context, highlighting how colonial and postcolonial politics frames eradication programs against at a backdrop of animal agriculture.

Fiona Probyn-Rapsey is Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Fiona’s research connects feminist critical race studies and Animal studies, examining where, when and how gender, race and species intersect. She is the author of Made to Matter: White Fathers, Stolen Generations (2013), and co-editor of 3 books, Animal Death (2013), Animals in the Anthropocene: Critical Perspectives on Non-human futures (2015) and Animaladies; Gender, Species, Madness (Bloomsbury 2018) with Professor Lori Gruen (Wesleyan University US). Fiona is also Series Editor (with Melissa Boyde) of the Animal Publics book series through Sydney University Press, http://sydney.edu.au/sup/about/animal_publics.html. 

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