The “human” is a historically constructed category with political and social agency, and in Western science and culture sets up a hierarchical distinction from other animals and forms of life. In this process of differentiation, animality has been racialized, and used as a means of limiting freedom and protections to members of humankind that threaten a fantasy of white superiority. How do these hierarchies and distinctions persist in the shaping of policy and social relations? How might thinking across species reveal new opportunities for liberation work across different forms of oppression wrought by racism, sexism, ableism, imperialism, and capitalism? And, thinking beyond the animal, how might we turn to other forms of interspecies connections and multi-species agencies to recalibrate the meaning of the human for survival on our damaged planet?

Black and white photo of Colin Dayan

Colin Dayan

English, Vanderbilt University

Black and white photo of Candice Lin
Photo by Georgia Arnold
Black and white photo of María Elena García

María Elena García

Associate Professor, Comparative History of Ideas

Black and white photo of Radhika Govindrajan

Radhika Govindrajan

Associate Professor, Anthropology

Black and white photo of Phillip Thurtle

Phillip Thurtle

Professor, Comparative History of Ideas

Black and white photo of Joanne Woiak

Joanne Woiak

Lecturer, Disability Studies

View a recording of the online roundtable that took place on December 3, 2020, with Dr. Colin Dayan, Dr. Radhika Govindrajan, Dr. Phillip Thurtle, and Dr. Joanne Woiak.