In the Church of the Sisterhood
Moral Inertia

Another Great Moment of Academic Clarity

A reader, Vaclav Lochmann, points us to an announcement for the Meet Animal Meat international conference, organised by the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University. Here’s a taste, as it were:

Informed by feminist investigations of embodiment and bodiliness, we ask: How do we understand our bodily relationship to other animals? How do we embody animals, and how do animals embody us? How are carnal modes of incorporation, intimacy, and inhabitation kinds of contacts forged between “HumAnimals”?

How indeed.

If, as Donna Haraway writes, “animals are everywhere full partners in worlding, in becoming with,” then how do embodied encounters with animal matter necessarily constitute categories of “human” and “animal”?

Wait for the clever bit.

What is the meaning of meat, and the meat of meaning?

Oh, there’s more.

Sadly, the opportunity to participate in the conference has come and gone. Readers are left to imagine the dizzying insights offered by the keynote speakers. Among them, Carol J. Adams, a “feminist-vegetarian theorist” and author of The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, in which she “explores a relationship between patriarchal values and meat eating by interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism and literary theory.” The book has been described by the New York Times as “a bible of the vegan community,” and in it Ms Adams advances her belief that,

What, or more precisely, who, we eat is determined by the patriarchal politics of our culture. Patriarchy is a gender system that is implicit in human/animal relationships… Manhood is constructed in our culture by access to meat eating and control of other bodies.

Also sharing wisdom was Judith Halberstam, a professor of English and Gender Studies at USC and author of In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, in which she “proposes a conception of time and space independent of the influence of normative heterosexual/familial lifestyle.” Halberstam’s areas of, um, expertise include “examining queer temporality - queer uses of time and space that are developed in opposition to the institutions of family, heterosexuality, and reproduction.” And one can only tremble with regret at missing Richard Twine’s pithy contribution: Embodying Posthumanist Intersectionality and Resisting Transhumanist ‘Enhancement’ Through Feminist Veganism?

Hush now, dry your tears.