Title

A Theory of Compulsory Humanity

Abstract

An emerging field of analysis links animal rights theory and disability studies. Scholars working at the intersection of these fields have focused on questions of embodiment, normalcy and the natural to illuminate how each oppression cannot be understood without the other. In my presentation, I apply insights from feminist and queer theory to critique the association of rationality with humanity. I also criticize legal scholar Steven M. Wise's attempts to win legal personhood for non-human primates due to their supposedly superior cognitive capacity. I ask: How can we develop an animal rights paradigm that does not rely on appeals to rationality, as well as one that does not threaten to exclude some humans with disabilities from legal personhood? Using theorists such as Robert McRuer, Sunaura Taylor and Judith Butler, I ask what animal studies can learn from disability studies and how we can build better coalitions between the movements.

Faculty Sponsor

Lydia McDermott

Tracks

Ethical Considerations

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Reid G02

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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A Theory of Compulsory Humanity

Reid G02

An emerging field of analysis links animal rights theory and disability studies. Scholars working at the intersection of these fields have focused on questions of embodiment, normalcy and the natural to illuminate how each oppression cannot be understood without the other. In my presentation, I apply insights from feminist and queer theory to critique the association of rationality with humanity. I also criticize legal scholar Steven M. Wise's attempts to win legal personhood for non-human primates due to their supposedly superior cognitive capacity. I ask: How can we develop an animal rights paradigm that does not rely on appeals to rationality, as well as one that does not threaten to exclude some humans with disabilities from legal personhood? Using theorists such as Robert McRuer, Sunaura Taylor and Judith Butler, I ask what animal studies can learn from disability studies and how we can build better coalitions between the movements.

Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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