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The Anthropocene and Animal Studies Reading Group brings together a variety of scholars from different disciplines that are interested in pushing back against the centrality of the human in the humanities.  Expanding out toward the realm of the nonhuman, this group aims to bring objects of inquiry into focus that have often been relegated minor: organisms, things, animals, and assemblages. The readings that we discuss do not abandon the human altogether, but to the contrary, examine human embeddedness in the nonhuman world, and how human domination and manipulation of the environment overlaps with other forms of violence that are racial, gendered, and class-driven. We are interested in interrogating the ethical and philosophical implications of the turn to the cosmos, environment, species, and animals in literature, film, social science, and cultural practices.

We are a nascent cohort (founded in 2014) that meets monthly to discuss critical texts. Feel free to contact Aylin Malcolm (malcolma@sas.upenn.edu) or Nicole Welk-Joerger (nwelk@sas.upenn.edu) for more information.

This year, we will be reading excerpts from texts by scholars who will visit Penn as PPEH-sponsored speakers, and for the PPEH-cosponsored symposium, Environments of Modernity, which takes place March 22-23, 2018.

2017 - 2018 Reading calendar

Our meetings will take place on the third Wednesday of the month from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. Feel free to bring your lunch to our meetings. Coffee is available for free in the Grad Center Lounge if you bring your own mug. 


Wednesday, September 20th - Jason Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital (2015)

Wednesday, October 18th - John Durham Peters, The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media (2015)

Wednesday, November 15th - Melody Jue, "Vampire Squid Media," Grey Room (Fall 2014)

Wednesday, December 13th - Kate Marshall, Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (2013)

Wednesday, January 17th - Robin Nagle, Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City (2013)

Wednesday, February 21st - Supriya Nair, Pathologies of Paradise: Caribbean Detours (2013)

Wednesday, March 21st - TBD

Wednesday, April 18th - Tiago Saraiva, Fascist Pigs: Technoscientific Organisms and the History of Fascism (2016)